A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

Christopher Miles: Bloom at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

June 23, 2013

No. Don’t tell me what they are. Don’t tell me whether they have suggestions of terrestrial, celestial, plant, animal, human, or machine form. I don’t want to be told what they are. This way, I have the freedom to find their meanings for myself and let them be what I need them to be.

All I know is that when I entered the room of the exhibition, I stopped, looked around, and I said to myself, “Wow.” Everything was so very impressive – the mixture of three -dimensional shapes, bold colors, and the space itself, serving as a background canvas for them all. Christopher Miles’s sculpture pieces are all made of acrylic paint and paper-over-aluminum armatures. To me, they are like our internal organs, especially since one of them looked exactly like a heart with large arteries, red blood inside, and pink flesh for its outer exterior. I walked around each one of the sculptures, and all the while, the strangeness of the shapes and the brilliance of their colors brought me a refreshing element of surprise, which I enjoyed. Once I left the room of the exhibition, I thought to myself, How dynamically beautiful and how powerful these sculpture pieces are, and I did not even need to give them a label as to what exactly they represented!

Christopher Miles: Bloom
March 10 – July 28, 2013
The first solo museum exhibition of Los Angeles artist Christopher Miles, Bloom features recent works constructed out of acrylic paint and paper over aluminum armatures—a kind of ambitious update of the papier-mâché method. Bridging painting and sculpture, the works formally address Miles’ combined preoccupations with three-dimensional form and forming, material presence and spatial actuality, texture and surface, as well as color, mark, light, and visual effect.  The exhibition stems from the artist’s ongoing interests in sculpture as constructed form and the expressive potential of sculpture—interests that he has explored in his ceramic sculptures. Abstract yet evocative, and riddled with crevices, openings, and protrusions that compel viewers to bob and weave while looking, the sculptures are designed to be engaging and confronting from all angles.  Miles examines the peripatetic experience of sculpture, the evocative and associative potential of form, and the pleasure that comes with exploring the relationship between exterior and interior. The sculptures immerse the viewer in an awareness of the present that shifts from one moment to the next and provokes an experience that unfolds not only in time and space, but also in the viewer’s associations.

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