Sunday, February 23, 2014

Virtual Reality

 Portraits, still lifes, landscapes become a virtual reality through manipulation of fine details, perspective, viewpoint, lighting, shadows. In her exhibition Hyper Real at the Caroll Gallery on the Tulane campus, Bonnie Maygarden goes one step further. She creates a new reality combining synthetic material and colors. Artificial oranges, greens are applied on the pleather or nylon which is crumpled and then laid flat like a canvas, a technique reminiscent of Hantaï's pliages. In a dreamier version, the fabricated landscapes are black, white and all shades of grey filled with anticipated drama in their quiet emptiness. Coined by Jean Baudrillard and defined as "the generation by models of a real without origin or reality", the concept of hyperreality is met in Virtuous Reality, 2013, Stylus, 2013 or A.Void, 2013 and similar works. In the same venue, Maygarden gives a variation on an impossible green with Buffering, 2014,  next to a minimalist sculpture made of four planks, possibly an homage to McCracken. This reminds us that the exhibition is set up for her Master thesis and includes also two works derived from photographs and neon showing the whole spectrum of the artist's practice. Minimalism and hyperrealism are not known to stir emotions and to avoid a possible monotony of the perfectly staged show, Maygarden activates the space with a mirror unfolding on the floor, reflecting the surrounding space. Hyper Real assembles older and newer works but the unity of the message creates harmony and an atmosphere of quality, rigour and professionalism.
My only regret, the exhibition lasted only two weeks.

photographs by the author:

"De.Fragment 1", 2013, Enamel on nylon
View of the exhibition

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