Sunday, March 13, 2011

Borgerding at Bienvenu; Sierra and Farranto at Coup

David Borgerding's finely crafted metal sculptures may resonate differently with different viewers. To some, they may look cellular. Living creatures are made up of cells, after all, including us. Borgerding's just happen to be several feet long and as finely made as aircraft components, leapfrogging our evolution from primal ooze to the space shuttle. But the cells and armatures of works like AELU, SUPO or ADAWA can also appear mantis-like, as if sleekly elegant insects had evolved on metallic asteroids somewhere in the depths of outer space. Like the surrealist Joan Miro before him, Borgerding can return the mind of the viewer to the shadowy depths of inner space.

      Paulina Sierra's sculptures deal with space and form in ways that are familiar yet spooky. In one, a bit of florid lace stocking conforms to the shape of a delicate female foot but is empty of flesh, and the effect is about as ornately ghostly as a recently shed snakeskin. That sense of emptiness within presence also appears in a life-size table set with a cup and saucer. There is also a chair, but like the cup and saucer and even the table itself, this is a gauzy lace concoction crystallized into a chair through a space-age hardening agent. An old claw foot bathtub, accompanied by a bottle and wine glasses, offers warmth, relaxation and solace. Sagging under the weight of its gossamer filaments, it occupies a world of tangible auras where absence is suggested by presence in much the way that the scent of perfume on a pillow lingers like an afterimage. Ghostly too are Emily Ferranto's paintings in the adjacent chamber. Some are more fully realized than others, but in one a swimming pool shimmers with a quality of light that is as warm and inviting as it is elusive. Here the rays of a distant sun come to rest in a pleasantly diffuse and lightly chlorinated evocation of the infinite. ~Bookhardt 

RECENT SCULPTURE: Bronzes and Stainless Steel Works by David Borgerding, Through March 28
Gallery Bienvenu 518 Julia St., 525-0518;
INTIMATE TOPOGRAPHIES: Sculpture by Paulina Sierra; SLOWNESS: Paintings by Emily Farranto, Through March 19; Coup d' Oeil Art Gallery, 2033 Magazine St., 722-0876;