The very small, cardboard sculptures hanging on the walls of the Alejandra von Hartz Gallery don’t necessarily draw your eye immediately – you have to search them out a little when you stop in to the well-done, handsome exhibit from Ana Tiscornia titled “Other impertinences.”
They are almost like 3-D architectural blueprints, scaffolding of a still un-formed structure, or maybe the remnants of one. Though tiny and delicate, these sculptures steal the show. Cardboard is a fascinating product; although utilitarian, it is a notoriously impermanent material, disintegrating at the first hint of rain. When cut open, the corrugated layers that are revealed add depth and dimension when used the way Tiscornia does, a deceptive building block.
This is the first solo show for the artist at von Hartz. The Uruguayan native who has made New York home since 1990, studied architecture and is an emeritus professor at SUNY College. Some recent large, geometric paintings are also included in this show, but they are not grid-like; they also resemble bits and pieces of a structure in the process of rising or crumbling, along with more literal sculpture, such as a part of a chair emerging from a wall. She works around the notion of the conflict between memory and oblivion – what remains in our troubled world, and what is forgotten. One work, comprised of several small, framed white paper pieces with text partially taken from a Holocaust survivor, is such an example. As the gallery introduction explains, “These constructions and visual rearrangements of everyday objects appear both obscure and familiar. They draw upon the paradoxical bond between architecture – a language of construction par excellence – with that of destruction and dislocation.”
As is typical of the von Hartz gallery, the exhibit is intentionally not crowded. All the works get room to breathe, and we the visitor are given room therefore to digest and reflect. Although the premise of constructions and their eventual destructions that undergirds the show is not an easy one, the show is surprisingly gentle. According to the artist: “Although specific political circumstances and catastrophes prompt me to make these pieces, these works look to a shared global moment and do not literally correspond to any one particular incident or place. They rather scrutinize how mediums can be pushed beyond their traditional associations, and still protect from [eroding] complex and nuanced social meanings.”
“Ana Tiscornia / Other impertinences” runs through Nov. 24 at the Alejandra von Hartz Gallery, 2630 NW 2nd Ave., Miami; 305-438-0220; www.alejandravonhartz.net.