ARTnews Review, Santa Fe, Summer 2012
JAMIE HAMILTON AND ALISON KEOGH
Center for Contemporary Arts
Two sculptors with wildly different formal approaches commanded the cavernous galleries of this nonprofit arts organization for an ambitious show titled “Arrhythmic Visions”.
Alison Keogh, formerly an architect, works with locally sourced clay to create sculptures and drawings that are about as far as you can get from the traditional use of this material. Her Cloaked Earth (2012), a 6-by-7-by-2 foot monolith made from muslin dipped in clay slurry and wrapped around a support, was weirdly reminiscent of both mummified pharaohs and a Richard Serra.
Smaller but equally boxlike, Stratum 264 (2012) featured densely layered pieces of cotton canvas immersed in clay and stacked like sheets of mocha mille-feuille. Seductive two-dimensional works offered dramatic gestural statements in a soft earthy palette realized from clay slurries, some on paper and others rendered directly on the walls of the gallery.
If Keogh’s sculptures are of terra firma, many of Jamie Hamilton’s trippy constructions seemed primed to take flight. The largest of these, Thanatos (2012)- assembled from steel poles and cables, terse ribbons of nylon, and spandex “sails” – resembled a vessel ripped apart by a violent storm.
Its tentlike forms occupied more than 800 square feet of floor space in the larger gallery. Eros (2011), a tangle of scooped and fanlike shapes, burst forth from one wall, while Branch (2000), crafted from wood and copper, extended its knobby, somewhat menacing arm seven feet into the room. Hamilton is also a formidably talented draftsman and his elaborate schemes on paper suggested a freewheeling modern-day Leonardo.
Both sculptors push the boundaries of their chosen materials, drawing on traditions like earth art and Minimalism. While Keogh’s work brought to mind both the spontaneity of the AbEx painters and the geometric rigor of Donald Judd, Hamilton’s creations recalled the majestic burnished-steel legacy of David Smith and George Rickey.
By Ann Landi