Sunday, April 21, 2019

Hinge Pictures: Eight Women Artists Occupy the Third Dimension at Contemporary Arts Center

“Hinge Pictures” is an austerely playful exhibition featuring eight globally prominent women artists. Their work ranges from curiously personal to boldly conceptual. Between those extremes, the large photo-murals and smaller sculptural works of Berlin-based Claudia Wieser provide a provocative new view of the relationship between form, time and space in the expanses of the downstairs corner gallery. Here a vast wall collage, top, includes mirrored glass constructs that kaleidoscopically slice and dice the gallery spaces as images of classical statuary vie with Bauhaus patterning and a shadowy view of a modern woman like a female time traveler wandering across the history of civilization.

German born, Paris based Ulla von Brandenburg bridges minimalism and intimacy with sweeping, sensual ripples of richly hued fabrics arranged as a kind of undulating amniotic labyrinth that leads to a chamber where you can watch more fabrics glide across a video screen, above. Other no less improbable highlights include Sarah Crowner's blandly bold, Ellsworth Kelly-esqe wall relief paintings like lost pieces of a giant picture puzzle. Erin Shirreff melds Bauhaus formalism with the cool edginess of Franz Kline's abstract paintings, even as Tomashi Jackson's mixed media works lament gentrification and its impact on public transportation with works like old awnings festooned with streamers of red film strips etched with the faces of the forgotten masses. Brazil's Ariana Varejao blends the formal with the personal in graphical circular color scales and color coded portraits on the walls, all partly explained by a modest display case filled with tubes of pigment in shades like “Snow White,” “Half Caste” and “Big Black Dude.” Local artists rule in two separate downstairs expos where Bonnie Maygarden's “Principle of the Hinge” series of translucent illusionist wall works suggest vivid yet minimal views of graphical humidity, left. Aimée Farnet Siegel's “Principle of Uncertainty” lends a formal perspective to the rise and fall of civilizations as festive streamers turn to tatters. Curated by Andrea Anderson, all of these works articulate a challenging, femme-centric approach to the myriad modalities of modernism. ~Bookhardt / Hinge Pictures: "Eight Women Artists Occupy the Third Dimension," Through June 16, Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., 528.3805.