Tuesday, January 29

I sing the body electric

Time: Consider objects as events.
Scale: Objects are all connected.

Approaching the glass front of Rhona Hoffman's Gallery on Peoria Street, one is struck by the neon green mass glowing in the window. The hazy color is so bright and inviting that you want to jump through the window and get inside the field of green. The big blurry object is actually made up of countless threads of brilliantly colored yarn, creating an almost floating sculptural box. Once inside the gallery, the familiar sculpture transforms into an event in space.

The big sculpture, at first like a familiar as a solid shape is surprisingly made of many little strings and even more surprisingly actually a single giant string, 40 yards long yarn wrapped around a huge frame. Most of Anne Wilson's work moves between seemingly separate discrete objects and many interconnected objects. In her new exhibition "Portable City, Notations, Wind-Up" three separate works of art are placed in three separate rooms of the gallery. "Wind-Up" is the large scale field of green yarn. To make it, Wilson and her collaborators spent a week in the gallery carefully wrapping one long thread around a steel frame. This large scale wrap is both a finished work and a starting point for a new work. As Wilson describes it, she created the first step in weaving the large wrap into fabric. She is generously passing the sculpture onto another artist to transform into wearable fabric.

"Notions" is performance of musical score and photographs that come together. This work comes together with "Wind-up" as dual events in a larger milieu. The embeddedness of all the works in gallery with each other helps us see the events that generated each work part in a larger systems, forming connections and links between each other.

Anne Wilson has for a long time worked with found fabric, thread, table linen, lace, and wire to make her art. She is one of the founders of a field called "fiber art" related both to sculpture and fashion and often associated with feminism. Her early small personal works incorporated human hair into found lace breathing life into the torn or discarded fabrics by translating them into surprising quirky little shapes. Here, in her new work she returns to old themes of growth, gestation, microcosms which come together in a network to form macrocosms.

One strand that runs throughout her work is that sculpture objects are a temporal practice. Her work seems like still shapes in space but given a moment unfolds into carefully controlled events. Each sculpture deals with sequencing, composition and memory. The video work animates the little sculptures into a series of choreographed movements, and shows us that what we see as an object in space is also unfolding in time. The sculptures are all connected, each a frozen moment in the process of growth and development that comes to life when we encounter them.