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Eric Tillinghast
at Launch Projects, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Alex Ross

Continuing through May 29, 2010

Eric Tillinghast navigates between painting, photography, and sculpture to explore the formal and physical properties of the world\'s most common liquid: water. \'Pools,\' a suite of 24 digital photographs, presents contents of swimming pools whose surroundings have been been digitally erased. Offering us swaths of turquoise buoyed in white negative space, the images underscore the sinuous contours of designs that emphasize water\'s fluidity. In addition to referencing Hockney\'s Pop Art-inflected depictions of a distinctly chlorinated California ennui, \'Pools\'\' suggestions of the splatters characterizing Abstract Expressionist practice insinuates abstract painting\'s status as a recreational commodity. Supplementing this photographic series, three c-prints of puddles recall Ingrid Calame\'s tracings of stains while evidencing Tillinghast\'s similar ability to synergize the abstract with the indexical as well as the arbitrary and intentional.

Evidencing the artist\'s fluency with non-photographic media, acrylic on paper works from his series \'The Deepest Lakes in the World\' employ cartographic source material to suggest issues of territoriality. Engaging the vocabulary of mapping - one in which 3,360-foot depths are reduced to slick fields of unmodulated cobalt - Tillinghast\'s paintings function as reminders of how flat fields of pigment can signal fathoms. \'Water Series #71,\' a powder-coated steel cube dented with a water-filled concavity, emphasizes the tension between nature and industry using no more than the subtle swell of a miniscus curve. Understated in conceptual and formal finesse, each work in this sharply coordinated exhibition presents a fluent take on fluidity.

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