| || Courtesy of June Kelly Gallery|
Dual arcs connected by colored plates, dangle, dazzle
and bewitch in Rebecca Welz's newest direction.
By JEFFREY CYPHERS WRIGHT
Soar, they do, these "Steel Kites," these mobiles and
wall-mounted sculptures that Rebecca Welz has made.
This latest group pushes Welz's longstanding concerns
with presenting planes to a new height, literally. She
suspends the most ambitious of them from the ceiling.
Squares of steel are set at fairly regular intervals
between two curved rods and mounted on the wall or
hung. The squares are first bent or "folded" at the
edges in a precise way evoking messages or codes. As a
youngster, Welz spent time in Japan where she was
exposed to the local tradition of using paper to make
brightly colored banners, hanging origami, and fanciful
Regarding herself as both a sculptor and a painter,
Welz says of this new work that kites "are as much
about color as they are about form." Previously, Welz
used Plexiglas, which admitted a bit of translucency.
The steel that has replaced it, uncannily hints at a
similar property due to Welz's labor-intensive
treatment of her colors and the jewel-like settings.
She rubs and sands the surfaces to generate a dull
polish that resonates with personality. It's as if the
artist had transfused part of her essence into the
pigment by spending so much time honing it.
|Exhibition: Steel Kites.|
Works by: Rebecca Welz.
| March 23 - May 3, 2005|
Gallery: June Kelly Gallery
New York NY
Phone: (212) 226-1660
The "light" effect of the material has much to do
with the grace with which Welz has arranged it.
A Zen-like effect begins with the simple union of
opposites, of the curves and the right angles. This
architecture of basic contrasts is enhanced by her
palette. Prussian blue and Grecian green... sable
sienna, warm orange and savory yellow. The works pull
us in by virtue of their calmness, not their clamor.
That is not to say the pieces are without drama and flair.
A paradoxical tension is ever present, testifying to a
successful transformation an alchemical alteration
from unbending to pliable from rigid to fluid. This is
especially evident in the "mobiles". Of course the
grand work of Alexander Calder generates expectations
of the commanding medium, such as girth and animation.
Welz clearly cuts out her own territory here. Her
pieces float in tandem, not random. They are bound in
a sort of dance as they move, and they move you with
their seamless interface between shapes and colors.
"Side Sweep" could be a pas de deux in a ballet.
| || Courtesy of June Kelly Gallery|
In another large mobile, "Twisted Kite," the steel
rods appear to trace an impossible trajectory. The way
the two are curved forces the squares into a sequence
that is unexpected and fraught with delicate resolve.
In "Fish" the clearly animated plates of steel appear
to be leaping up as if they were in a school.
One mobile, "Hoop" differed from all of the other
works. It did not have a sensuous arc. It "stood"
apart almost ominously and maybe this is the next
direction for Welz, to actually make free-standing
|This latest group pushes Welz's longstanding concerns
with presenting planes to a new height.|| |
For now though, the direction points toward
sanctuaries and secular cathedrals, such as a vaulting
ceiling in a huge airport. As "Side Sweep" turned
slowly like a Phoenician galley (or a strand of DNA,
or a wedding ring, or a "steel kite") it seemed to
carry majesty, to bear a noble aspect that bespoke of
discipline and vision. In the end, these pieces are
charming but tough. Their free spirit is buoyed by
| ||Her pieces float in tandem...bound in
a sort of dance...|
|APRIL 13, 2005|
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