Review: Hollis + Lana Show an Impressive Body of Work at Gildar Gallery

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The Gildar Gallery’s current exhibit has a novel-length title: My Body Is Everywhere. Where Is the Body? The show features an all-encompassing installation along with a selection of paintings and small sculptures; all of the works are by Hollis + Lana — the artist pairing of Conor Hollis and Amorette Lana — and come from the couple’s recently conceived “Vestige” series.
The pair’s pieces are thoroughly unified, making it impossible to tell where one artist stops and the other starts. Back in 2008, they were sharing a studio while doing individual works. But they were inevitably looking over each other’s shoulders, influencing one another to the point that their pieces were starting to look alike — so they decided to start doing collaborative paintings. They added collaborative sculpture to their repertoire several years ago, and this installation at Gildar is their most ambitious three-dimensional outing to date.
The installation in the front of the gallery is the apotheosis of the “Vestige” series — but to get a full understanding of the collection, it makes more sense to start with the pieces in the back. In the painting “Vestige (6),” for example, various densities of a quick-setting liquid foam have been formed into a complex array of biomorphic shapes crowding the surface of a large panel; some of these elements have been cast, others poured. Though the piece is predominantly white, a deep-red paint has been applied here and there using both an airbrush and conventional brushes.
With the “Vestige” installation, Hollis + Lana have attempted to simulate the hypothetical experience of walking through one of the paintings; the installation uses the same materials, the same colors and the same formal vocabulary. As you walk through the front door, the installation-as-painting clicks into view. Three freestanding sculptural elements on the floor, placed on freely configured steel plates with mirror finishes, reflect what’s on and around them. There are also architectonic elements on the walls and across the ceiling made of yards of paint-saturated fabric detailed with foam and cotton wadding. The fabric alters the shape of Gildar’s interior, with the right angles replaced with soft curves, reinforcing the idea that as we proceed, we’re traveling through an enormous abstract painting.

This incredibly ambitious show deserves your attention and time. But hurry: It only runs through July 30 at Gildar Gallery, 82 South Broadway. Call 303-993-4474 or go to gildargallery.com for more information. 

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