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Chris Fraser
Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Chris Fraser turns an art gallery into a wonderland of color and line in his interactive installation of light, "In Passing."


Continuing through March 3, 2013


San Francisco-based artist Chris Fraser turns the gallery into a wonderland of color and line in his interactive installation, "In Passing." From the ceiling of the soaring exhibition space hang three pendant lights, each wrapped in a colored gel:  blue, green, and red. Around three sides of the space's perimeter is a corridor through which viewers walk. This hallway is painted white inside and out and has vertical and diagonal slots cut through the innermost walls, allowing long stripes of color to bleed in from the lights on the other side. At the corridor's two corners, the dim atmosphere acquires a foggy, dematerialized appearance.  


This is the first time Fraser has worked with colored lights; his previous installations have utilized white light only, and it is an auspicious aesthetic development. The color infuses a dose of sexy, stripe-y, Juicy-Fruit zip to what might otherwise have proven an austerely minimalist enterprise. The influences of the California Light and Space movement, and in particular James Turrell, are clear. "In Passing" delighted opening-night crowds; everywhere you looked, people were pulling out cellphone cameras to capture the gee-whiz effects. The installation is a triumph for Fraser and a strong second outing for Disjecta's 2013 curator-in-residence, Josephine Zarkovich.

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