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Hollowforms, currently at CES Gallery, offers work by two artists that depict hollowness, and, by extension, a rich meditation on possibility. On an aesthetic level, hollowness actualizes negative space, and practically speaking, the possibilities of hollowness excite the imaginative faculties of the mind.
Brian Robertson’s paintings are allusive and confident in their simplicity, conjuring the Surrealist landscapes of de Chirico but revealing even less. There are no distant figures in these paintings to project purpose upon, or from which to derive meaning; Robertson’s paintings offer limited perspective into a seemingly unlimited field of vision. Robertson’s subjects are wholly abstract and exist between the relationships that occur across shapes and patterns, provoking a viewer to make sense of their disparateness and proximal relationships.
Orr Herz’s sculptures constitute a matrix of ebullient form, color, and material. The digital illustrations that cover the cylindrical sides of Herz’s Sleep Handlers (I-IV) (2015) complicate these forms but provide no interpretive material. Herz’s sculptures are heroically mute, offering no monumental narrative, and if they weren’t so energetic and buoyant one might think they were hostile to interpretation. And yet, that narrative opacity is a strength, allowing for high-intensity relationships between forms to multiply and for a viewer to actively engage therein.
In Hollowforms, negative space provokes the mind to engage in the completion of the artworks by filling the void they articulate. While exploring the parameters of hollowness, Robertson and Herz productively offer viewers a mode of critical engagement with the possibilities of negative space. As a result, a viewer is invited to actively engage with the work and the multitude of ideas it references by painterly allusion and sculptural embodiment.
Orr Herz and Brian Robertson: Hollowforms runs October 22-December 11, 2016 at CES (711 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021)