Ice Cube highlights the work of Marius Lehene and Ray Tomasso
There are a lot of great exhibition spaces around town, but I'm always struck by how good shows look at Ice Cube Gallery, even though it's the humblest of venues: a co-op. In a typical arrangement, the handsome space with the big windows and high ceilings is currently divided roughly in half, with one member's solo on one side, and another's on the other.
To our left is Marius Lehene: Sum Over Histories, which combines drawings with three-dimensional creations — he calls them "tridimensional" — on the walls or, in one case, hanging from the ceiling. Lehene's statement suggests that these pieces are derived from sights he sees along the roads while driving and his interest in drawing them. (Let's hope he parks before he pulls out the sketch pad.) Using thin strips of bamboo held together with glue, Lehene makes elaborate linear constructions — they look something like insanely complicated buildings — and unifies them with white acrylic paint.
The tremendous subtlety of the light-colored Lehenes provide a perfect counterpoint to the mostly bold shades that predominate in Luminous Flux: Ray Tomasso, which fills the other side of the space and extends into the niche gallery at the back. In recent years, Tomasso, a master of cast papermaking, has been working on large-format abstractions that represent a cross between paintings and wall-relief sculptures. He takes full advantage of the pulp's ability to pick up subtle details in the molds, and he orchestrates rough-cut geometric forms to create his bold and simple compositions, as seen in "The Yard Through the Rear Window" (pictured).
An interesting fact about Tomasso's process is that when the pieces emerge from the molds, they are uncolored, so the shades that make up the completed pieces are not dyed pulps, as is traditional in papermaking, but are painted on with acrylics. Tomasso has been on a trajectory of sorts for the past few years, and he just keeps getting better and better, as proved by the newest work here, "Marks Left by Memory."
The Lehene and Tomasso shows at Ice Cube (3320 Walnut Street, 303-292-1822, www.icecubegallery.com) close on May 19.
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