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La Cienega Area

Alison Wilding’s sculptures are winsome-yet-prickly things, curved and nestled in shy, tricky ways on the floor or wall. An Englishwoman based in London, she owes a certain debt to Barbara Hepworth’s small organic forms. There is also a reticent air of medievalism about these pieces, with their helmet-and shield-like forms (others read these as funnels and “female” elements), elongated ovals and narrow slits.

In “Core II,” two large sheets of ultra-thin rubber are cut irregularly and joined to form a vague shield shape that hugs the floor. At one end of an immaculate lozenge-shaped cutout in the middle of the piece, a tall, flaring crown of shining, riveted brass stands sentry. In “Breaker,” a trapezoidal swath of dull-surfaced steel balances on edge, like a makeshift barrier; a thickly black-painted giant spoon-shape “grows” out of one side.

Archness is the major pitfall in pursuing such a nakedly reductive stylization of form and surface. Wilding stumbles just once here, in “Hand to Mouth,” a three-sided riveted steel column embellished with curving, mouth-like cutouts that bumps up against a piece of wood with a spot of wax on one end, rather like a hugely overgrown nut. (Asher/Faure, 612 N. Almont Drive, to Oct. 26).


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