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Gisela Colon

GAVLAK Los Angeles is pleased to announce Meta Minimal, a solo exhibition of new sculpture by Gisela Colon (American b. 1966, Vancouver, Canada; raised 1967, San Juan, Puerto Rico). The artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery will open at Gavlak’s new space in Downtown Los Angeles at 1700 South Santa Fe Avenue, Suite 440, on January 11, 2020.

Through her syncretic process of exploring and expanding upon past history, sculptor Gisela Colon has succeeded in creating sculptures that convey the fullest possible array of sensory and intellectual experience, projecting cosmic energy and power outwards into the world. With her astute practice of Organic Minimalism– an idiosyncratic sculptural language that imbues life-like qualities into reductive forms– Colon approaches her sculptural practice from the expansive perspective of phenomenological concerns: addressing the physical laws of the universe such as gravity, time, movement, energy and transformation. Colon’s oeuvre is the result of a synthesis of pointed historical reflection and visceral raw energy.

Colon’s practice of Organic Minimalism simultaneously expands and challenges the legacies of Light and Space, Minimalism, Kinetic and Latin American Op Art, merging industrial inertness with transformative biological mutability. Her sensual, gender-ambiguous sculptural forms further connect her practice to a history of female artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Linda Benglis and Judy Chicago. By channeling Bourgeois’ notions of sexualized energies and Chicago’s nascent feminist atmospheric works, Colon similarly posits her sculptures as vehicles for conversion of classic masculine forms into feminized power.

Colon’s vocabulary of organic forms and humanized geometries embodies a feeling of energy, movement, and growth that stems from the artist’s connection to the Earth, the vital energy that pervades all living organisms, and the extensive, infinite forces that rule the cosmological realm. For Colon, what is most important in a work of art is that it “transcends the material to allow for metaphysical phenomena.”

A merger of scientifically advanced technologies and materials with naturally-occurring in vita properties places Colon squarely in the current international discourse of contemporary sculpture. Contemporaries such as Olafur Eliasson, Alicja Kwade, Jose Davila, and other practitioners, alongside Colon, integrate the use of ubiquitous industrial materials of the Anthropocene era with the palpable tension of the laws of physics that pervade the invisible world around us.

For the Meta Minimal exhibition, Colon’s works will occupy the entirety of the gallery, centering the installation on one of Colon’s signature large-scale aerospace Monoliths, sculpted in iridescent carbon fiber. At 12 feet tall, Colon’s Untitled (Projectile Monolith White Iridium), 2019, stands as a force of gravity around which all other sculptures effortlessly float in synergistic movement. In Colon’s words:

“The Monoliths convey evidence of equality, power, beauty, and strength. By appropriating classic masculine forms and symbols (the phallus, bullets, missiles, rockets) and making them aesthetically ambiguous and even beautiful, the Monolith sculptures subvert the traditionally aggressive and destructive references of these objects. Their negative meanings are transmuted into positive energies, by converting them into aesthetically desirable objects that address phenomenology and the universal concern of human relationships with the Earth.”

Interspersed throughout the gallery, the viewer will also encounter a series of translucent, refined Hyperbolic Monoliths, part of a new body of work entitled Unidentified Objects, which references cosmological origins and otherworldly enigmas. Like stalagmites forcefully growing upwards from the mineral earth, or foreign matter hailing inexplicably from unknown worlds, the 8–foot-tall streamlined Hyperbolic Monoliths act as sinewy reminders of our stardust origins, creating bodily experiences through the activation of surrounding space.

Surrounding the Monoliths, several wall sculptures from Colon’s groundbreaking series of biomorphic Pods will hover as beacons of light and life. The Pods are created through a unique fabrication method comprised of blow-molding and layering of acrylic and optical materials of the 21st century. This technique results in sculptures that emanate, refract, and reflect light while simultaneously possessing fluid spectral color and optical harmony. Activated by light and their surrounding environment, the Pods become perceptual objects whose physical characteristics are transformed by variable factors such as the position of the viewer, their source of light, and the time of day.

Anchoring the central gallery space, Colon’s large-scale 8-foot-long amorphous floor work, entitled Unidentified Object (Slaboid Incandescent Gold), 2020, protrudes from the floor as if growing out of the concrete, presenting a direct aesthetic counterpoint in both organic form and manifested purpose to the forceful verticality of the Monoliths. These objects, though apparently conceptually opposed, emanate from the same transformative world, sharing a primitive kinship with the fundamental aspects of life.

Extending into the east gallery space, Colon presents a subtle immersive installation with a series of Light Portals where highly refined linear swaths of light and color appear to float seamlessly on the wall. Through the elusive shifting of prismatic refractions of structural color, the disembodied Light Portals allow for glimpses into the infinite.

Presented together, all four bodies of Colon’s work, foster a symbiotic dialogue, evoking the physical states of matter that fluctuate between solid, liquid and gas. Meta Minimal evidences a dynamic encounter with the universal forces of energy that surround us, leading to an experience beyond perception– an encounter with the sublime.

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

Brave New Worlds: Exploration of Space invites you to enter the creative universes of five contemporary artists through sculpturally immersive installations. 

“Motivated by the legacies of Southern California as a place of artistic experimentation, a site for self-fulfillment, and a geographic zone of light and natural resources, these artists use their distinctive spatial languages to construct worlds that both challenge convention and ignite our senses. Projects include those by Kelly AkashiGisela ColonVictoria FuKaren Lofgren, and Adee Roberson, with works that represent each artist’s understanding of our bodily connection to the world that surrounds us.:” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“With her very first exhibition in Brussels (and incidentally in Europe) which is hosted at la Patinoire Royale — Galerie Valérie Bach, Gisela COLON rips apart the great white veil of our contemporary art world with her, let’s face it, truly groundbreaking works. These extraordinary iridescent curved shapes, made of her own take on blow-molded acrylic techniques, reveal tangible futuristic anticipation, toying with our visual perception using the very properties of light. Here the infinite variations of light and color show themselves as one moves around, depending on the angle from which it is viewed. The eye is delighted while all our certitudes come crumbling down.
Gisela’s brilliant production has grown from the crossover between Californian minimalism and the kinetic art of the 60’s, taking shape in Los Angeles where she lives and works.Her work resides precisely within this research of pure shape and color, perfectly aligned with the «iLight and Space Movement » started in the early sixties by West Coast artists such as James Turell, Bruce Nauman, Craig Kauffman, Robert Irwin, etc. Their artworks were then (and continue to be) true to their own nature, perfectly autonomous objects, inspired by the light and colors unique to Southern California: these shapes appear in all their glory, in their absolute purest form, without engaging the viewer’s own subjectivity.
Gisela’s works, on the other hand, call upon the involvement of the viewer. Through this shift she engages the optical kinetic art of the sixties, directly inspired by Carlos Cruz Diez (to whom the Galerie Valérie Bach concomitantly devotes a significant retrospective, precisely due to his proximity with Gisela’s work which she acknowledges and claims as her own heritage), Horacio Garcia Rossi, Gregorio Vardanega, Karl Gerstner, Antonio Asis, Rafael Soto or Julio Le Parc.”

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson