Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Glowing Wavelengths In Between

Last weekend, when I went gallery hopping in Milwaukee, the first place I stopped was the Dean Jensen Gallery, which is currently showing Glowing Wavelengths In Between, new work by Milwaukee-based artist Sonja Thomsen.

Sonja Thomsen
Glowing Wavelengths In-Between
2014
Dean Jensen Gallery

Thomsen's earlier and current work can evoke feelings of solitude as well as warmth and glowing fullness.
They offer an open invitation for viewing, yet keep a distanced autonomy from the viewer. Her previous work had the viewer objectively looking at an object or form. As seen in this current exhibition, her work has grown to make the viewer aware of the act of looking and reflection.

Sonja Thomsen
millimeter of water
2004
digital c-print
50" x 40"

Sonja Thomsen
surface
c-print mounted on aluminum
2004 -2006
20" x 20"

Sonja Thomsen
surface
c-print mounted on aluminum
2004-2006
20" x 20"


This awareness of reflection can be most obviously seen  in "prismatic compass" (2013) and "demarcate" (2013). "Prismatic compass" (2013) is hung in an alcove at the end of the gallery. It hangs on one wall, and its reflection, "affect" (2013) radiates onto a wall mounted pedestal on the opposing wall. It wasn't until I saw this piece that the whole show started to make sense to me. When it did become clear, it was as if "prismatic compass" (2013) had whacked me on the back of the head and said, "Well, duh! The show is about refraction and reflection and the beauty, though sometimes blinding, it can project onto its recipient."

Sonja Thomsen
prismatic compass
vinyl plated steel
2013
16" x 16" x 7"

Sonja Thomsen
affect
2013



Though "prismatic compass" (2013) shined the light (pun intended) onto my awareness of what the show said to me, "demarcate" (2013) is the image that will stick with me for a while. In the center of the gallery is "tangent" (2013). It is a double slanted table topped with images of book pages that have then been selectively covered  in reflective material. I wanted to look at the book page and search for words, but instead I found myself  absorbed, and sometimes blinded, by the forms and shapes I saw in the reflections. Adjacent to this piece is "demarcate" (2013), which is a print of a woman who has raised the back of her hand to her eye seemingly to shield herself from the rainbow glaring onto her face. The images were lovely, yet had me, the viewer, squinting as well. It was when I saw this piece that I wondered what it looks like to someone else when I am blinded. Is there that beautiful image dancing on my face and hand as well?
Sonja Thomsen
demarcate
archival pigment print with custom 8 ply mat
2013
24" x 29"


I highly suggest you check out this work which will be on display at the Dean Jensen Gallery through March 1.

No comments:

Post a Comment