Review: Jason Meadows and Mateo Tannatt sculpt raw materials into ‘8 Days a Week’

Jason Meadows' "Moonrise," 2015, cut and remodeled found metal shelving and metal grills.

Jason Meadows’ “Moonrise,” 2015, cut and remodeled found metal shelving and metal grills.

(Jason Meadows / Marc Foxx)

Five sculptures by Jason Meadows and three by Mateo Tannatt add up to “8 Days a Week,” a quietly exciting essay on what a sculpture (or two) can do in a world otherwise overrun by flat-screen monitors and the digital information they deliver 24/7.

At Marc Foxx in Los Angeles, just about every element in each of the artists’ deliberately assembled objects begins as a plane: a sheet of metal, copper, wood or canvas. Meadows and Tannatt give form to these raw materials by cutting, bending, riveting, fastening, casting, welding, nailing and gluing them into three-dimensional configurations.

That’s a peculiar way to make an object. It recalls Cubism’s proclivity to slice and dice reality before reassembling it in fractured forms and faceted planes, which cause the eye to move in fits and starts, the movements jarring, irregular, unpredictable.

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The structure of Meadows’ and Tannatt’s sculptures also recalls pixels and time-lapse photography. Such associations are most powerful when Meadows uses wire-mesh shelving units or the circular tops of backyard barbecue grills. Planes break into lines, which he links, in the mind’s eye, to artists as diverse as Ansel Adams, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly and Jim Isermann. Gucci handbags, homemade wind chimes and teeth-rattling cattle guards also come to mind.

In Tannatt’s hands, flatness blossoms most effectively when he plays with scale and materials, making clothes hangers out of tinted glass, flowers out of aluminum and proscenium-style tableaux out of classic Minimalist sculptures. Signature works by Marcel Duchamp, Jules Olitski and Robert Morris are evoked, as are architectural models, home movies and the helpless feeling of locking your keys in your car.

All of the sculptures in “8 Days a Week” charge the space around them with enough energy to keep you on your toes — literally and metaphorically.

Marc Foxx, 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 857-5571, through Oct. 17. Closed Sundays and Mondays.


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