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It takes two flights of stairs to get to the blindingly white, 4,000-square-foot gallery space of Club Pro Los Angeles, where Hannah Boone, Aria Dean, and Merideth Hillbrand have tucked, hung, and slid sculptures into place. Locating the work is difficult at first as the building’s idiosyncratic features distract—but this is curator Santi Vernetti’s aim. The space feels unfinished, as if held together with leftover wood and metal scraps, yet is outfitted with white walls and institutional lighting. If read as architectural interventions, the sculptures look casually installed—like tools left out after a gallery install.
Aria Dean’s adroit and delicate sculpture Untitled (2016) is precisely mounted, propped against a beam like a hand on a hip, with a pile of heavy chain thrust into pantyhose and placed beneath a PVC structure. In the next room, Merideth Hillbrand’s Rollers (2016), features a galvanized steel pole that leans against the gallery wall. Another lolls on the floor nearby—as if disassembled from a chain link fence and retooled for new purposes.
In the gaping spaces of commercial galleries (whose architectural elements often compete with the art they house), work often becomes engulfed by the room it’s staged in. At Club Pro, each artist considers architecture in terms of place and location with a neat, do-it-yourself sensibility, pointing to the floor, to the ceiling, and the space in between. In doing so, the work is overwhelmed; sculptures acting more as wallflowers than monuments. While these tailor-made sculptures prove a refreshing take on the medium, they make too gentle a suggestion at the expense of being self-evident.
Hannah Boone, Aria Dean, and Meredith Hillbrand runs May 13-June 3, 2016 at Club Pro Los Angeles (1525 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015).