Eva Lake’s Drape at Augen

A thrumming optical vibration, Eva Lake’s “Drape #1-7” electrifies the darkened rear space at Augen Gallery. These seven 30″x30″ canvases were born to be hung this way, butt up against one another and wrapping around a corner. They want to be together, building horizontal critical mass while visually challenging one another (hot vs. cool both within and between the works), in an architectural hanging.

Each of the “Drapes” features two 15″ bands of contrasting 1/2″ vertical strips (orange alternating with blue, for example) each darker toward its ends, lightening in the middle. This makes “Drape #1-7” appear to be two illuminated convex horizontal bands, so not only is it vibrating, it’s moving out into the space. Lake’s palette has an ’80s aggressiveness that can be jarring, which only makes her facility with the paint more noticeable, the subtlety of her blending allowing the viewer to focus on the whole above the parts (although stepping close and taking time is worth it because her freehanding of this linear work is pretty spectacular).

It’s odd, these brushstrokes, these marks of the hand in a work that suggests the industrial with its uniform ridges and troughs. It’s not unlike the way Malevich’s gradiants bring what contemporary eyes see as the machine abstraction of shading to peasant portraits. I lifted the following image from Lake’s FB page because I had to show you the work as hung in the space. But you really need to go see it for yourself. Today is the final day it’s on view.

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