Friday, May 24, 2013
Anita Traverso Gallery - Susan Buret
Walking into the exhibition For the Love of Vermillion is like entering a kind of delicious visual twilight zone. The works shimmer and ooze, going in and out of eye shot and focus while the viewer circles the room. They pulsate with color and energy, teasing with a kind of essential life essence.
On leaving the gallery I found myself searching – and finding – pattern in everything. It could be as simple as a row of cushions in your home. You constantly glance at them, consciously or unconsciously, and they register, time and time again, as a visual trigger for not only home, but community, culture, taste and warmth. We depend upon these patterns, these colors, to anchor us in some way - to our family, our routine and our identity. Like the patterns and colors of the seasons, or the architecture in the country in which we live, or the summer dresses our mothers always wore. Pattern as a recognizable visual can represent comfort and familiarity. Pattern as an unrecognizable visual can represent disconnectedness, unfamiliarity and perhaps even discomfort.
'Little Rocket' consists of a kind of arched patterning in varied hues of red. It has a subtle air of nostalgia, which is mysterious at first, until you realize that the repeated pattern evokes the tin rocket ship toys from the 50’s and 60’s. 'Inside' is the kind of work you feel you could fall into. It has a magnetic quality, appearing almost three-dimensional. Each square ‘space’ in the pattern is marked by four red squares, like columns viewed from above, flagging the multiple entrances like a visual version of a perpetual state of flux or confusion.
For the Love of Vermillion is a slight deviation from previous exhibitions Buret has produced, although the visual component – i.e. geometric color-filled patterns – remains a constant. In 2010, in the series Stolen Geometry form the Gardens of Love, Buret worked with map fragments, weaving them into her pattern work in order to explore displacement and the search for refuge. Shredded and reconstructed government documents such as visas and passports were used for her 2008 exhibition, Portraits of the Unknown, with the intention of bringing to light current international debates on border protection and refugees.
For the Love of Vermillion as a body of work is less political but more soulful. It resonates on an innate level, tapping into the subconscious, before urging a slide toward the conscious, slowly and gently - like dawn or dusk – enabling the registering of repeated and often emblematic patterns, which eventually leads to contemplation of the bigger picture.
Guest Reviewer for Sixtoeight.net
30th April - 25th May 2013