The Shape of Things….

Last Friday I visited the Racine Art Museum, where they had a show of works by Barbara Sorensen and Karen Gunderson. Walking through Sorensen’s ‘speleothems‘ installation was a dizzying, surreal experience. Pacing around and between these stalagmite and stalactite shaped forms, each step revealing new and unexpected perspectives, was like entering a cave on another planet in a distant universe.

Adjacent to this were Gunderson’s black canvases: oil on linen… black paint laid on in blocks with grooves as fine as an infant’s hair. Light reflecting off these grooves makes the painting look literally 3-D. I don’t think I have ever seen a canvas look so sculptural. As one moves past, the waves dance and ripple. I had to get close to the wall and look at them from the side to convince myself that they were really flat. The effect of movement on these sculptures and paintings echoed my experience of music and how it unfolds through time.

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