Los Angeles Times

In summer, the fresh kiss of ‘Air’


Brazilian artist Lucia Koch’s exhibition at Christophe­r Grimes is perfect for summer.

Breezy, diaphanous and sunset-colored, “Air” is a translucen­t curtain strung diagonally across the main gallery. Printed in a gradient that stretches from a deep blue at the ceiling to a rich, burnt orange at the floor, it turns the whole room into an abstract landscape.

Rippling slightly in the breeze from the open front door, the curtain almost appears to breathe.

The work is a simple gesture, but the effect is lovely and somewhat melancholy, evoking the transition from day to night as well as between inside and out. Gathered like a stage curtain, the piece imparts anticipati­on, as if one is waiting for a revelation.

What is revealed are two intriguing photograph­s in the gallery’s smaller back room, to which another curtain serves as door. Seen through the haze of fabric, these images at first look like architectu­ral interiors. Breaching the curtain, it becomes clear that they depict the inside of cardboard boxes.

Koch has made cutouts that resemble windows and skylights, playing with our notions of scale and finding the grand in the miniature. She’s also perhaps making an oblique comment on makeshift housing, finding moments of beauty in the most humble of materials.

This last idea is reinforced by the exhibition’s unified color palette: blue sky and brown cardboard are the same colors as a sunset.

Christophe­r Grimes Gallery, 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 587-3373, through Sept. 4. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.cgrimes.com

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