Whim­si­cal twists of alu­minum

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - Mier Gallery, 1107 Greenacre Ave., L.A. Through July 1; closed Sun­days and Mon­days. (323) 498-5957, www. mier­gallery.com cal­en­dar@la­times.com

Anna Fasshauer’s de­light­ful sculp­tures at Mier Gallery look like they were made by a gi­ant play­ing with twist ties. The three floor sculp­tures and three smaller wall pieces are made from strips of alu­minum that the Ger­man artist paints, bends and fas­tens by hand into whim­si­cal, rum­pled shapes. De­spite the in­dus­trial na­ture of the ma­te­ri­als, the works have an or­ganic ease about them. They’re like doo­dles in three di­men­sions.

“Birdy Crois­sant” is pretty much what it sounds like: an 8-foot-wide orange cres­cent whose up­ward point­ing ends re­sem­ble the head and tail of a bird. The metal strips also evoke the banded, crinkly tex­ture of a crois­sant. Although the creased and crum­pled sur­face is rem­i­nis­cent of John Cham­ber­lain’s cat­a­clysmic forms, the work is more of a spir­i­tual cousin to Claes Oldenburg’s su­per­sized ev­ery­day ob­jects, with their gen­tle sense of hu­mor.

“Tall Tico” is more Seussian, a tilt­ing red T emerg­ing from a pale green orb. It was in­spired by the sign for a Mex­i­can restau­rant, but it also looks like an ec­cen­tric cac­tus, or the key to a windup toy.

The smaller wall pieces on view con­sist of strips of metal wrapped into rec­tan­gu­lar shapes. They re­minded me of Ja­panese obi sashes, those some­times or­nately knot­ted strips of bro­cade. This ref­er­ence to the body seems apt for Fasshauer, who takes a cold, stiff, in­dus­trial ma­te­rial and ren­ders it fluid, easy and hu­man. Walk­ing around one of her sculp­tures is like be­ing in­side a draw­ing where every line has an in­side and an out­side, twist­ing and turn­ing through space.

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