Continuing through September 2, 2017
Hailing from Oakland, California, Los Angeles-based sculptor Julia Haft-Candell presents her current whimsical, mystically-inspired wall reliefs and ceramic sculptures. They reflect the influence of her teacher at UC Davis, Annabeth Rosen and at a greater distance that of the by now legendary Ken Price and Peter Voulkos. Haft-Candell explores the notion of widely-used lines, patterns, and symbols, especially the infinity sign, through the lens of feminism. Replicated over and over again in this exhibition, this simple motif oozes symbolic resonance. Echoing primitive cave drawings, Haft-Candell’s pretzel knots display an endearing, handmade quality. The surface patterns painted on her infinity-shaped sculptures each have their own meaning, to be found in a gallery-provided glossary. Visitors can peruse these definitions of the arch, the braid, the chain and more while ruminating over their “hermaphroditic attributes,” as they each possess male and female qualities.
The most successful example of this motif is “Chain Infinity” (2017), a large-scale wall sculpture emblazoned with imperfect black and white cross-hatching. She explains, “The infinite exists because the linear dimension does not offer enough. I want to provide the infinite as a refuge for myself and anyone else that feels alienated.” Apart from her infinity sculptures, a series of “Weights” are also included. As lumpy, volcanic-looking rock formations, they were created as by-products from the “Infinity” collection. While these “Weights” are something of an afterthought, the overall message of this series holds up, offering a grander perspective on icons and patterns that we see frequently in our daily lives.