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Larry Kornegay
Ottosen Gallery, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona
Recommendation by Deborah Ross

Larry Kornegay, "Wind in My Windows," bailing wire, cactus flowers, 31" x 29" x 13". Photo by Bill Timmerman

Continuing through January 7, 2018

Longtime Phoenix-based artist Larry Kornegay is known for his organic sculptures and cast-concrete design work. In this intriguing mix of black-and-white paintings and found-object assemblages, Kornegay is a would-be archaeologist, finding pleasure in the oddest artifacts. There is something endearing, even playful in his decision to place a hand-formed clay ball atop the remnant of a purple-glass decanter, in turn atop a larger, patterned concrete ball, as is the case in “Steel Bottle.” More profound is “The Juggler’s Wife,” in which what appear to be weathered white furniture legs are suspended at odd angles against polished black spindles, a poignant comment on the precariousness of human relationships. “Wind in My Windows” intertwines garlands of cactus blooms into a grid made of bailing wire. Relationships are not only delicate, but tangled.

Kornegay has more recently returned to painting, with the result often being black-and-white works exploring geometrical abstraction. The markings fill the canvas with exuberant circles and ovals, interspersed with square outlines and other shapes make more than evident his prodigious layering of pencil and latex paint. “Butterfly Cage” is a freeform affair that doesn’t obsess over balancing one side of the canvas with the other. But sculptures capitalizing on striking juxtapositions are Kornegay’s strong suit, and they ably spotlight his messages of seeing harmony in unexpected places and unearthing a mundane object’s potential.

Desert Botanical Garden

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