Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Monday, December 03, 2012

On the sunny side of the street: Insook Hwang installation at A-Space Gallery; plus Three paintings by Tony Kosloski

West Cove Studio Gallery
30 Elm St., West Haven, (203) 627-8030
Insook Hwang: Best Wishes from the Magic Temple
Bright Logic: Three Paintings by Tony Kosloski Through Jan. 5, 2013.

New forms within old forms: that was my first thought in trying to process Insook Hwang's Best Wishes from the Magic Temple, currently on display at A-Space Gallery.

Hwang's playfully modular approach to design and installation melds contemporary references to science—primarily cellular biology—and digital technology with an irony-free New Age sunniness. This show grows one mega-installation out of numerous smaller—although not necessarily small—related installations, drawings and paintings.

Insook Hwang: "Jubilation" detail

These works—this work—is situated within the old form of a 20th Century industrial space: well-worn hardwood floors, brick walls and intersecting lines and diagonals of steel. Compared to the geometric precision of the space, Hwang's forms are amorphous, blob-like, suggestive of evolution and single-cell organisms. She uses repeated imagery—most notably in this show a couple of pictograms that evoke two figures dancing—to mimic the self-replication of cells.

But Hwang isn't just commenting on biological processes. She also creates fanciful living creatures—dinosaurs, a unicorn—and structures—a tower, a spaceship—out of linear forms loosely derived from computer monitors (at least, the old pre-flat screen type of monitors). What is "growing" is not just life but life informed by digital interconnectedness.

Insook Hwang: "Blue Dino"

Plenty of others have seen this developing social network in dark, dystopic ways but not Hwang. With her affection for pastel colors, glitter, suspended glass balls, hearts, flowers and lenticular overlays querying, "How are you?" and spelling out "love" in different languages, Hwang radiates buoyant, positive energy.


Also on display in the room behind the main gallery are three large, geometric abstract paintings by Tony Kosloski (Web), dating back to the late 1980's and early 1990's. These works completely defy the usual rectangular space of the painted composition. In fact, defiance of perceived space is the operative principle of these compositions.

Tony Kosloski: "to look at the center of things and find the illusion of difference" detail

The irregular panels struggle to contain the lines of force, bright colors and Escher-meets-psychedelia designs. All three paintings have a giddy, disorienting energy, as if the built environment is in a pell-mell rush to turn itself inside out.

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