Fabienne Lasserre & Annette Wehrhahn
12 November to 18 December 2016
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The latest elliptical monoliths by Fabienne Lasserre engage our physical presence at every angle. Double-sided in nature, and propped up on a central point, these works visually spin from an axis; inviting the viewer to take it in frontally, side to side, in the round, through and back again. Fabienne constructs her ovoid sculptures organically and intuitively with strips of fabric, cardboard, cinderblock, metal, and clear vinyl. These pieces are forged together into looming oblong discs and then slathered in paint. Lasserre playfully weaves swatches of color around the voids that she carves through her facades. Patches of bright orange and blurry blue surround the portals to inform us that there is another facet to experience. Intriguing us to walk around and perceive the flip side, perhaps to be surprised by a field of black monochrome enamel. Like the multitudinous shapes used to texture the form, the paint is also created with variety; sometimes matte, sometimes glossy, other times thick, at the same time airy. The result is not dissimilar to that of a rock-climbing wall; something that hints at a geological form but is clearly synthetic at its core. Further examining the relationship to paint and portal are works that Lasserre fabricates out of clear vinyl. These buoyant hoops are marked in space by their undulating edges crafted from metal and molded fabric. The semi-transparent assemblages use an ombré of color to fade itself in and out of vision. Lasserre yet again skews perception by synchronizing a glimpse of the intrinsic and extrinsic; the surface, the form, and beyond.

The work of Annette Wehrhahn similarly challenges the human body and its relationship to the painted surface. Wehrhahn first embarked upon this series of paintings through repeatedly tracing her own anatomy. By rotating positions and stenciling herself with oil sticks onto raw canvas, she created a strata of limbs drawn crudely in thick dark line. Recalling prehistoric cave paintings, the rawness of Wehrhahn’s unrestrained gestures emanate physical presence from the compositions. The most recent incarnation of this work is inspired by artifacts Wehrhahn saw while traveling in Italy. In Catholic churches, traditional “Ex Votos” feature isolated limbs or organs embossed onto tin plates. They are placed in shrines, along with votives, in supplication or thanksgiving for miracle healing. Wehrhahn revives the tradition by playfully arranging and rearranging the fragmented body parts into a constant state of activity. Customarily Ex Votos are intimately scaled, whereas Wehrhahn’s subjects are blown to exaggerated proportions. Hues of primary reds and yellows unfold amongst the frenetic mark-making. An underlying female voice emerges as long-lashed eyes, lips, and red-nippled breasts become apparitions on the painted expanses.