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"Dissecting Nature"
at Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California
Recommendation by Judith Christensen

Continuing through February 25, 2012

Andy Goldsworthy’s exquisite “Leaf Horn” (1996) represents one approach taken by the artists in “Dissecting Nature” utilize the striking characteristics of natural materials, in this case, sweet chestnut leaves bound with thorns, to construct a new form. Iran do Espírito Santo employs another tactic. In “Untitled (Parta 2)” (2001), he applies latex paint and ink to MDF — not simply a wood panel, but a manufactured wood panel — to emulate nature. By creating the illusion of the rich, rough surface texture of natural wood, he establishes a context in which the viewer must decide if this is a clever one-liner or a lead-in to questions on a metaphysical level. Regardless of the artist’s approach, one of the unifying themes here is the significance of texture. From the pristine precision of Hreinn Fridfinnsson’s “35 Drops,” (2005), in which shimmering glass drops are hung in a single, vertical line suggestive of dripping water, to the rough, dry surface of Goldsworthy’s chestnut leaves and the near-abstract, highly magnified photographs of Maiko Haruki, the exhibit reminds us how much nature can teach us about texture and how attentive these artists are in their inquiries.

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