Friday, November 30, 2012

Orna Feinstein + Carlos Zerpabzueta

Carlos Zerpabzueta, "Mil Milisegundos," Silkscreen on co-polyester,13" x 9 ½" x 9 ½", Photo by Pablo Gimenez Zapiola repost

So, I came into town to see the Texas Contemporary Art Fair and it was a great deal better this year, but the show at Anya Tish Gallery captured most of my attention this weekend. The show "Translucent Trajectories," is a perfect mix of two artists, thousands of miles apart, but with one key material element, they come together to make an aesthetic statement about transparency and the layered image.

When you see Orna Feinstein’s work, you might immediately think of the Op art of Bridget Riley or the recent show by Carlos Cruz-Diez. However, Feinstein's approach seems to grow out of her observation of cellular structures of plants rather than just a post-minimalist response to purely geometrical art. I think Feinstein's work uses similar language as her artistic forbears, but her use of layering through concealment sets her apart. Like in “Morel #4,” the prints are made on each piece of glass and as you walk around the work, the image shifts from thin to wide. Your movement begins to obfuscate to where the prints leave a faint hint of red.

Then you move around some more and the patterns start to appear. Feinstein is not attempting to trick you eye, but rather have you experience a sculptural object in a very engaging and interactive way. Her works on traditionally flat material gains dimensionality when she prints on the protective plexiglass. The laser cut paper sewn over the fabric conceals a great deal of the print design. But nothing could completely hide the bold colors of “Tree dynamics #22.” It was like looking at a festival behind several barriers. The installation piece, “Translucent” was a real treat. Layered lines and warping half-domes made me wander back and forth to see all the wonderful changes. This work played a perfect balance of mixing the past Op art heritage with her contemporary machined material like the art of Tom Orr, but with a twist of Feinstein's own layering techniques.

Whereas Forna Feinstein is more attune to nature, Carlos Zerpabzueta brings a contrasting urban feel to the exhibition. Zerpabzueta makes structures that reference building facades, with tiny pictures on transparent polyester. The images range from printed objects to hand painted words. He really gives you the sense he is making miniature windows for high-rises and in this exhibition, the city starts to feel implied. Although an illusionary effect is not an ultimate goal of Zerpabzueta, the experience can be a bit confusing, unless you focus in and take your time to see each little object or word he depicts. If I had a lot more time with them, I think a story would begin to emerge from each piece.

Anya Tish Gallery will feature Houston-based Israeli artist Orna Feinstein and Venezuelan born artist Carlos Zerpabzueta through November 10th. Although you can’t see everything in the show, because it is transparent, go see the bits you can.

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