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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Art Run L.A. part one: "3 Solo Projects: Jessica Rath / Carrie Ungerman / Lynn Aldrich at OTIS college of Art and Design

Jessica Rath, Tree Peel, 2008, gallons of latex.

I went to L.A. for an excellent art run. I enjoyed the drive, the conversation and the shows. First we went to the Otis College of Art and Design / Ben Maltz Gallery (my first visit there) to see "3 Solo Projects: Lynn Aldrich // Jessica Rath // Carrie Ungerman". It was graduation day, it was crowded outside with students and parents, the air filled with laughs.

Inside the gallery it was very quiet. Rath's weird looking tree was standing alone in the middle of the first space. Was it a real tree, if yes, was it dead? When I got closer I touched it and it was soft. Then I saw the stitches, all over, it has been stitched to reconstruct the form of the tree. Looking at its base, I could see now that it was hollow, and there was a metallic structure underneath it to sustain it. On the surface
of the trunk, one could see pieces of the bark of the tree which was enclosed in the latex. Strange piece, it looks heavy and it is not, it is empty. I felt like I was in the future (decades, more?) and I was looking at the last tree on earth!

Lynn Aldrich, Silver Lining (2009) [in front] and Desert Spring (2007)
[in back]
Galvanized gutter parts and downspouts,
alkyd enamel, dimension variable

In the second space, Aldrich's gutter parts and downspouts are extremely organized, either coming out from the floor or coming down from the ceiling (one can actually walk underneath that one and get an interesting perspective).
I could not help thinking about a giant organ - and I was almost waiting for some noise or some music (which never came).

Lynn Aldrich, Silver Lining (2009) - from underneath

Carrie Ungerman, Untitled, 2008, plastic, Mylar.

And then there were Ungerman's mountains. A journey to the center of the Earth? To the Ali Baba's cave? To a monstrously beautiful landfill? The mountains are Shiny and fluffy and tall and fragile and very large. A structure I wanted immediately to explore, it is made for that, you can walk around and discover different views. The Mylar has certainly been cut while still rolled and then unrolled and displayed carefully. One thing I particularly like: if you blow air, the Mylar moves a little. And you can play to see how the structure reacts. The structure underneath the Mylar is made of bags full of recycled water bottles. It is not hidden: in various places you can see it very well. So the whole structure is really light, although it takes a huge space. There is no way it can be twice the same if displayed in another space, which is great.

Carrie Ungerman, Untitled, 2008 (detail)

And then we headed to Bergamot Station for the second part of our art run!

"3 Solo Projects: Lynn Aldrich // Jessica Rath // Carrie Ungerman"
April 18 - June 13, 2009
Otis College of Art and Design / Ben Maltz Gallery
9045 Lincoln Boulevard

Los Angeles CA 90045

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