Continuing through March 3, 2018
A rudimentary outline of a cavernous structure ascends with the natural asymmetry of a raw mountainside. Irregular shapes filled with ink create an optical maze of portals and passageways while two points at the top of the structure radiate with a beaming light. A series of lines extend from the two-dimensional drawing and point to a web of words. The names of famed painters, sculptors, mixed media artists and designers occupy their own bubble. Handwritten by artist Chad Attie, canonical masters like El Greco, Vermeer and Goya are strung together while Delacroix, Eames and Titian hover overhead. Disney references such as “it’s a small world after all” and “Tomorrowland” are surrounded by Calder, Llyn Foulkes and Courbet. The word association is not dictated by chronology or hierarchy, rather it creates an architecture of thought.
The juxtaposition of words is inextricably linked to Attie’s ink drawing, a structure that is intentionally devoid of linear framing but organically shaped so as to house an ever-growing set of names, ideas, and knowledge.
Los Angeles based Attie presents “The Last Island” as an exploration of painting, drawing, sculpture, and video created over the last four years. The development of distinctive “islands” begins in the artist's notebook, first in ink and then re-drawn and presented in color. “The Matterhorn” appears like a beehive with a serpentine shape coiled tightly around the exterior. The island “Eden” is a simple dome that houses a couple holding hands. “Ithaca” resembles a low boulder with a cylindrical form extending through the middle, as if it were a lighthouse guiding Odysseus home. The drawings become the blueprints for Attie’s sculptures, which are constructed of paper-mâché plaster and cardboard. The rough sketch of “Eden” becomes an altar for love wherein a black and white photograph of a young and beautiful couple is illuminated through the portal Attie intentionally leaves open. Attie uses found materials, including a pipe, toy pistol and trumpet to accentuate the Matterhorn inspired “Ithaca.” The series of “islands” are worlds onto themselves, protecting the people and objects that have been carefully placed inside.
The location of Attie’s “islands” is not made entirely clear. Their appearance is that of glaciers floating in a group along an undetermined body of water without a horizon. One drawing depicts the silhouette of a woman standing with her back toward us. She is framed within a paper cut-out that has been opened by the artist. She stands at the foot of an “island” with a spire that kisses the sky. Like the word association that Attie presented at the beginning of his journey, the lone figure carries knowledge and creativity. No matter which “island” she chooses to enter, the space will protect and foster her creative pursuits. In the meantime, we feel encouraged to create our own “island” as a place of refuge and safety in an unpredictable world.