Enigmatic and organic
Artist's series of images form an elegant, unending line
By G. James Daichendt Correspondent
Posted: 11/11/2010 03:54:09 PM PST
Colorful, enigmatic and organic are just a few words that describe Lea Anderson's current installation at Offramp Gallery. The snakelike installation is a long and winding series of transparent and singular images that merge together to form an unending line, traveling up and down the walls and ceiling of the gallery.
Situated in a historic home that once served as a dance studio, the installation and selection of drawings acknowledge the unique space and history of the building through a series of elegant twists and turns that hint at the way we think.
An image of the brain is visible initially in a few select units that make up the entire chain. These individual pieces called "membrains" are each attached to the wall individually, but their proximity to one another creates a much larger string of events.
Collectively there are hundreds of these images but they quickly lose a sense of familiarity as they are reproduced and slightly altered. Progressively they change color, size, and orientation, with different levels of abstraction. This evokes a playful metamorphosis against the whiteness of the walls as the brain changes into an unrecognizable assortment of shapes. A mix of Chihuly glass and Op Art, the plastic digital images are decorative yet reward close inspection as targets, leaves, and radiating suns appear and disappear in the details.
The metamorphosis of forms is particularly interesting as black contours slowly become more discernable in each membrain. The colors may change but the blackness eventually overcomes a series set against the back wall until the entire shape becomes a solid black image-albeit for only one moment until these same contour lines become geometric and change the brain form into a square. Ironically these square shapes corner around the rectangular door in the gallery before they swirl off into another series of loops before becoming wildly abstract. In the most dramatic turn, this series of membrains eventually resemble a sea anemone with tentacles that reach out and become more abstract than real.
A tale of change and adaptation, Anderson's installation emphasizes the individual and its relation to a larger group. A chain reaction that could be a metaphor for imagination, the formal arrangement acknowledges this flow and our understanding of how thinking may relate to the visual world.
G. James Daichendt is an associate professor and exhibitions director at Azusa Pacific University.
MEMBRAINCHAIN: A MIND-BLENDING INSTALLATION
Through Nov. 21
Closing reception and artists's talk, 2-5 p.m.
1702 Lincoln Ave.