Vice Versa, Matthew Larson, Massey Klein, (September 5 – October 7, 2018)

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Larson’s most recent body of work continues his decade-long exploration with fiber. His practice, a highly unique variation on weaving, uses mass-produced and commonly available materials such as acrylic and wool fiber, and velcro. Following a labor-intensive process developed by the artist, Larson embeds individual strands of fiber into velcro mounted on linen, which he then stretches over a panel. Through controlled use of line, he achieves precise patterns and striations of color and texture. Larson’s process defies categorization, transitioning between drawing, painting, sculpture, and weaving.

In Vice Versa, Larson navigates two compositional structures: linear geometry and organic form. Typical of Larson’s geometric approach, the artist establishes the border of the panel as a constraint to drive the overall composition. As the work progresses, variations of color and thickness mimic the vertical and horizontal architecture of weaving. Optically, these works appear to follow a traditional warp and weft structure, but are built on a single plane.

Larson’s organically composed work is the result of a departure from his symmetry-based technique. Larson builds upon a curvilinear composition consisting of irregular swoops and turns. The change in direction of each strand allows the piece to transform. Depending on the angle at which it is viewed, contrasting highlights and shadows emerge. This transitory effect of light lends itself even further to the organic nature of the composition.

The exhibition’s organization places linear works across from their organic counterparts. Reverse StructureDouble Fiction, and Soft Axis, all geometric in nature, hang opposite the large curvilinear piece, Signal. This comparison of form and design emphasizes the power of color and pattern. The gallery’s back room is devoted to smaller, framed work but continues to follow the juxtaposition of form and composition. Three linear works, Outline 1-3, mirror three organic configurations, Inward 1-3, of the same color and size, allowing the viewer to meditate on the subtle differences between groupings.

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