Monday, March 28, 2011

pink; yellow green violet lamp

Yellow Green Violet Lamp, David Lynch, 2011

As most of you know, I am a HUGE Lynch fan and this past week, I went to William Griffin Gallery in Santa Monica to check out his latest art exhibition. Even though David Lynch refers to the colour as violet, I've included one of his sculptures into this weeks pink category called Yellow Green Violet Lamp

As I walked into the amazingly spacious gallery in Santa Monica, I was like a giddy teenager, hoping to see the man himself. Lynch was not there but his presence was surely felt. Along the walls of the gallery were five large scale paintings that had light bulbs attached within them and sculptural elements stuck to them. A semi circle stage coming out from the main wall, showcased a group of his sculptures and in an adjoining room were beautifully delicate lead pencil drawings, which I loved!

View within the gallery space

Yellow Green Violet Lamp was one of nine sculptures, all with lights attached to them. They had exposed wires which connected the sculptures to a main power source, replicating an umbilical cord and as I stood there looking at the group of these 'lamps', I was reminded of Louise Bourgeois' early sculptures. When she first moved to New York with her family, Bourgeois made sculptures out of abandoned wood from the water towers in New York to keep her company as she felt lonely being away from friends and family in France. These sculptures of Lynch's seemed to be doing the same thing. They appeared to be connected to each other, keeping each other company and creating a dialogue between themselves. I was a little disappointed I was not invited to experience the space between each sculpture; the platform created an obvious distance and barrier between viewer and object.

Detail, top

Yellow Green Violet Lamp is made from cold-rolled steel, plaster, tint and resin. I can see how resin would appeal to Lynch. It has an unusual organic looking texture, a dullness to it's finish similar to wax and is a strangely tactile material. Because of this, the material can look odd as it's origins do not appear to be man made, but strangely they do at the same time.  I can't help but think of prosthetic limbs here, as they too are created using man made materials but the aim is to look organic, creating a strange dichotomy. Lynch's combination of cold-rolled steel and resin really does reflect his surrealist take on the world, both are man made and when combined, create an unusual relationship between materials.

As I stood there looking at Yellow Green Violet Lamp, I noticed the title of each of the works and realised Lynch did not give these sculptures individual names that one would expect. Every sculpture's title simply had a description of the colours visible within it and all ended with the word 'lamp'. What makes this interesting is you can really hear Lynch's voice in the naming of these sculptures. There is a simplicity and honesty within naming these sculptures what they obviously are. No pretension, no expectation, almost childlike and to some degree, real.

Detail, base

The sculptures took on individual persona's, even if they were given simple titles. Each one had a strange thin wonky body, supported by a steel frame like wounded soldiers and a glowing head or headpiece that didn't seem it would do the job a 'lamp' is required to do.  Each one had a strong presence, living within a strange barren world only Lynch could imagine. These sculptures are truely something to be experienced having been created by a contemporary surrealist artist, who has given us strange films, paintings, drawings and sculptures in the surrealist style since the late seventies.

The exhibition is on until the end of May and if in Los Angeles, I highly recommend a visit. These sculptures and the lead drawings in the next room were definitely the highlight of the show for me.

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