Variations and themes

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 14, 2006

In a similar way, Christian Marclay’s Cascade (1989) is visually compelling as a tall tower of dangling magnetic tape dripping to the floor; but, after all, this audio tape might very well contain speeches, songs, or symphonies. In the context of these surroundings, the illustrations in the three art books acquire greater emphasis than the texts that they were made to accompany.

Of the three sculptures here, the two metal works seem a stretch for the theme of the show, having little visually in common with the drawings and paintings. But Judyth van Arnringe’s Nest II (2000) fits right in: a bowl-shaped tangle of lichen-colored strips, the matte glaze nubbly with cracks. It’s a tactile variation on Jasper Johns’s Figure 8 (1969), a big, colorful infinity sign containing roughly scrubbed squiggles against a background of similar, smaller brisk marks.

Local artists aren’t neglected. In addition to Ott’s piece is a large drip- and globe-packed painting by Willy Heeks and a couple of abstract black-and-white etchings by Irene Lawrence. There is also one of Tayo Heuser’s tall, meticulously drawn scroll works, this one containing finely drawn lines that hang and shimmer like ethereal curtains.

“Webs, Loops, and Skeins” offers more to look for than this space can adequately survey. Despite the seeming limitation of the title, there is something for anyone interested in contemporary art.

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