Sunday, November 23, 2008

Deja Vu at Betty Cuningham


(Above, Carmelite I, 2004)

The above sculptural work of Mia Westerlund Roosen is probably the pivotal moment of my reentry into the art world. For a year and a half after I viewed her Fall 2006 exhibition at Betty Cuningham Gallery, my mind went blank as to the artist's name, as well as to which gallery I saw the exhibit. I searched time and time again, asking acquaintances, "Who's this artist who works with giant ceramic structures, felt, and concrete in the gallery with the exposed wooden beam ceiling?" I was met with silence, or a nearly convincing response of "Rachel Whiteread" each and every time. So I took it upon myself to call all along 26th, 24th and 25th streets again to no avail. No one could ever point me in the right direction, though even speaking with the front desks Rachel Whiteread's name was mentioned far too numerous times to count. Sure, she's a great lady, but certainly not who I was looking for. Then, last fall, I found my thrill by accident while at Betty Cuningham when I took a peek through the back and saw her book lying there.

Westerlund Roosen's works have a decided flow; a pivoting, if you will, of bodies in perpetual motion, though hard edged bullwarks, all while capturing the fleet of foot in a methodical orbit. Right now, it's deja vu all over again, as my soul takes flight with sheer delight at seeing her new pieces. Below, is her new work, "Mettawee." Taking certain elements of Serra's Torqued elipses, and combining them with natural elements-- water flows atop the curved spools, a babbling brook, making a reconnection of body to the land. Westerlund Roosen sets up imagery that evokes an almost archaelogic aspect, if not spiritual connection to a long ago otherworldly realm. Some beautiful works, and the show is up now through December 6th. GO!


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