George Stoll at Maloney Fine Art

Poetry is in short supply in the art world. It’s as if there’s a general mistrust of even the search for beauty, truth or elegance. Thank god there’s George Stoll to fill the void.

With ten pieces installed in the sun-drenched gallery of Maloney Fine Art, Stoll reacquaints us with grace achieved through rigor and intelligence.

George Stoll
beads, gravity, prime numbers and catenary curves
Installation View
Courtesy Maloney Fine Art

Eight of the ten pieces in the exhibition are catenary curves achieved with the collaboration of gravity.

Lengths of wire with threaded glass beads of alternating color are attached to pins of equal height. The decorative strands form a curve of gravity from their fixed points. Some curves overlap, some spoon in almost parallel tangos. And some alternate between a long, languorous arc and the staccato rhythms of a repeated filigree. The number of color segments is determined by prime numbers. The balanced compositions and slow fuse engagement is determined by the artist.

Most of the works perform their magic in a shadow box frame thereby defining the stage. The most ambitious however and equally successful is the largest. The pins emanate directly from the wall and the beaded curves cast a light shadow directly on the drywall. 37 Lengths of alternating white and colored beads forming 4 curves on 5 pins is the dry yet accurately descriptive title. The white segments completely disappear from a certain distance calling to mind the optical enchantment of Robert Irwin’s wall mounted disks. The three smaller arcs are made up of seven segments of color each yet the large arc is made up of 16 segments of color and white. A wholly symmetrical composition thus becomes a syncopated jazz riff with the odds shimmying with the evens.

George Stoll
beads, gravity, prime numbers and catenary curves
Installation View
Courtesy Maloney Fine Art

The use of beads to create these gravity curves is equally engaging. It has a base “craftiness” to it that might deny an art world pretension. But this humility of medium is in harmony with the intellectual underpinnings of the paradigms Stoll sets up. Seen from close up as well, the beads zig and zag on their wired rows. At this point you realize that the lines, which bear mathematical origins and seem so clean and precise from a certain distance, are actually organic approximations.

George Stoll
beads, gravity, prime numbers and catenary curves
Installation Viewn(detail)
Courtesy Maloney Fine Art

 

Poetry, at its best, illuminates while it mystifies. Stoll’s works lure the viewer with visual grace and even humor while never ceding layers of profundity. As I left the gallery, birthed back unto the cacophonous sounds of La Cienega I thought of e e cummings’ brief and powerful poem “seeker of truth:”

 

seeker of truth

follow no path
all paths lead where

truth is here

cummings hangs those words creating lyrical arcs in much the same way Stoll wields beads. Rhythm and beat at the service of the sublime.

-Mario M. Muller, April 10th, 2013, Los Angeles

 

George Stoll at MALONEY FINE ART through April 13th, 2013

2680 South La Cienega Blvd, LA, CA 90034, 1.310.570.6420

 

 

also by Mario M. Muller

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