Review: Olivia Booth, Candace Nycz smartly play with perceptions

Space-saving appliances and time-saving devices have been with us since the Industrial Revolution. Olivia Booth and Candace Nycz bring similar efficiencies to art. Their fantastic installation at Weekend plays fast and loose — and very intelligently — with our perceptions of reality’s basic ingredients. Expanding space and gobbling up time, the two artists’ paintings on canvas and glass let you get lost in unexpected ambiguities that provide even more unexpected pleasures.

In terms of materials, Nycz’s five paintings are utterly conventional: oil on canvas stretched over rectangular armatures. Her palette is punchy, sunny yellows echoing off cheery reds and silvery grays. Nycz favors diagonals, which charge her compositions with a jaunty off-balancedness.

None of these elements, on its own, is remarkable. But Nycz unites them in ways that make her paintings seem bigger than their physical dimensions. In turn, her three tablet-size canvases and two large works make the gallery feel fuller than possible — packed to the gills with spatial shifts yet airy and open — almost infinite.

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Booth’s five paintings on oddly shaped sheets of cut glass and other odds and ends do something similar.

In terms of materials, Booth’s painterly sculptures (or sculptural paintings) are as nutty as they come. Made of repurposed water pipes, a garden sphere, mirrors, a vase, windowpanes and a jar — as well as twine, fishing line and big metal eyelets — these loopy improvisations recall wind chimes made by an eccentric aunt or craft projects undertaken by a kid who just can’t follow the rules.

Booth applies oil, acrylic, gouache and enamel to each side of each piece of glass. She paints in the manner of a ham-fisted finger-painter. Yet she corrals surprising subtlety out of her misfit materials. Next to Nycz’s refinement, Booth’s unruliness makes for an installation of great depth and resonance.

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Weekend, 4634 Hollywood Blvd., (213) 514-4433, through Dec. 8. Open Sat., Sun. and by appointment. www.weekendspace.org

 

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