A new Film by Eric Minh Swenson
Diane Rosenstein is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Los Angeles-based artist Gisela Colon. This exhibition – the artist’s second with the gallery – will present two large-scale Parabolic Monoliths, an evolving series of blow-molded acrylic Pods, and a new freestanding Light Slab. Gisela Colon’s sculpture is, in her words, “a pursuit of the infinite sky,” of the intangible through the material. It offers an interaction between the viewer and variable ambient light and is activated by changing environmental conditions and the viewer’s perceptual experience.
The artist, who was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, identifies an early influence of Venezuelan artists Jésus Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez. While she first exhibited abstract paintings, Colon says that the writings of Donald Judd and Robert Irwin increased her interest in issues of visual perception and materiality, and led her to make sculpture. She developed a unique fabrication method of blow-molding and layering acrylics, producing wall-mounted sculptures that emanate light and color. Although her work is informed by the ideals and practices of the California Light and Space movement, the results are futuristic and transformative.
This exhibition centers on a dramatic installation of two large-scale Parabolic Monoliths (one is 15 feet, the other is 12 feet) that Colon sculpted in iridescent carbon fiber using aerospace technology. In contrast to the acrylic Pods, these majestic volumes are smooth surfaced and they shine, reflecting all light sources in the environment. The Parabolic Monoliths have no right angles or edges, eluding the dominant geometry of hard edge Minimalist boxes. Colon explains that “The Monoliths’ appearance is high-tech, space-age, and futuristic, yet at their core they are also visceral, primitive, reminiscent of ancient cultural objects imbued with sacredness and a higher purpose, such as totems, Stonehenge, and pyramids.”
The artist will also present a major series of her biomorphic wall-work – the acrylic Pods. She will show new shapes, including Oblates and Spheroids, as well as a tall and narrow Elongated Rectanguloid that measures nine and one half feet. This series has evolved significantly from the first forms she showed in 2012. The artist has refined the forms tending towards symmetry and subtlety in palette and effect. The imbued metallics, blacks and blues highlight the varieties of perceptual experience so the viewer has unfettered access to a broader range of reflected prismatic colors. She will also show a Light Slab fabricated in a combination of acrylic and polished stainless steel that hovers in the boundary between painting and sculpture. The work contrasts the soft refractive glow of light through acrylic panels with the clear-mirrored reflections from the polished steel.
Many of the artist’s formal concerns challenge Minimalism and the Light and Space movement. Colon states, “Minimalism has historically involved reductive forms that appear life-less, strictly material, inert, industrial and are devoid of organic qualities. The vocabulary of forms that I have developed (Pods, Slabs, Monoliths), all involve qualities that appear to embody some kind of energy that can relate to life-like forms. They appear to contain life in an abstract way. They combine the industrial with the organic, and a confluence of contrasting aspects.”
GISELA COLON’s (Canada, b. 1966) sculpture is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), San Diego, CA; The Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; and the Grand Rapids Museum of Art (GRAM), Grand Rapids, MI, among others. Colon has a solo exhibition atthe San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, Texas and was included in California Dreaming: Contemporary Art From The Weisman Art Foundation, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, CA (2017); and Selections from The Permanent Collection,” Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA (2017). The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.
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Eric Minh Swenson also covers the international art scene and his writings and photo essays can be seen at Huffington Post Arts : http://m.huffpost.com/us/author/eric-minh-swenson/