Michelle Lopez’s second solo exhibition at Simon Preston Gallery introduces us to a space of minimal approach where subtle shapes and smooth surfaces invite our senses to embrace a mystical presence.
In it reigns a contradiction between the toughness of the materials and the softness of the shapes. Consequently, the hard aluminum juxtaposition of these big leaning wall-based sculptures with smooth folds and wrinkles conveys an impossible scenario of delusion and caprice. Through multiple crumples and distortions, tough aluminum seems to be malleable and elastic. Michelle Lopez employs different material qualities in her pieces achieving perverted results; aluminum’s rigid appearance turns into flexible crumpled paper, wood’s natural solidness turns into curved melted plastic.
The body of work is embedded with a minimalist semblance. Blue Angel exemplifies the reductionist principle that is present all over the show; a simply crumpled mirroring surface which contrasts with its deep matte blue backside, supports the piece’s visual statement. A sober presentation allows focusing our gaze in the contradicting properties of the elements displayed.
The work’s austerity summed to its vertical orientation evokes spiritual solemnity. Moreover, the reduced number of colors employed intensifies it. Thus, the attention is addressed towards formal resonances, avoiding excesses that could divert us from the essence of the piece. In addition, the sculptures appear to be interconnected by their wall tangency fact that creates an atmosphere of unity where we become part of a whole entity.
The white space of the walls works as a magnetic field between the sculptures, creating a coherent unity through them. Is the tension between the powerful aesthetics of the sculptures -mainly achieved through inherent contradictions between shape and material, which carries out this invisible engagement. The void left between the pieces assumes a physical presence and functions as a real element. Is not easy to transform the no-form into form and Lopez achieved it with subtle sensitivity; when we walk through the gallery the art’s aura is almost touchable.
Another group of works, her maple plywood and grip's sculptures, Your Board, share the same features of Blue Angel in terms of deformation and austerity. However, they imply more obvious connotations; at the first gaze, the image of a skateboard would appear in our mind and simultaneously multiple associations with urban culture. The fact they are related to a real object -because the combination of wood and sandpaper-, differentiates this series from Blue Angel ones, where forms are completely abstract.