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Tom Orr
Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, Texas
Recommendation by John Zotos

Tom Orr, "Tightrope" installation view, 2015

Continuing through October 10, 2015

For the exhibition of ten new works by Tom Orr, titled “Tightrope," the entire gallery is used to rightly give the pieces their much needed room to breathe. The exhibition expresses Orr’s constant search to reconfigure and expand materials and structures in a theme and variation manner. His concern for the movement of constituent parts of each work and how that effects the movement of people around them, hence kinesis and optical visual metaphysics, is a central theme.

Formal tropes of modernism range from grids and lines to collage and the sublation of painting and sculpture into a synthesis are evident in this mature work. The title work is a good example. An inkjet print on aluminum of black lines and thicker sized bars repeat their rectangular format throughout a broken grid, expanding into a horizontal rectangle that forms an outline. As a reference to navigating a delicate balance between movement and stasis, or flat surfaces and spatial elements, the title's metaphor runs through the entire show.  

Two of the three gallery spaces cradles their own single installation. At the gallery entrance "Paladin" greets visitors with a play of reflection from mirrored aluminum objects set atop a carpet with alternating black and white lines. The piece occupies the floor of the gallery at a low level, leaving plenty of room for viewers to contemplate the play of light within it and as it reflects upwards to form a pattern on the ceiling. By way of contrast, "Mr. Lucky," in the next room, does the opposite, reaching upwards towards the ceiling.

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