Fuel for “Constant Light” consists of SIX tall, wing-like statues arranged in an elliptical halo that fill the main area of the gallery. Although there is grace in the upward curves of the forms to a body encircled within, upon closer attention there are unavoidable formal problems. To avoid idolatry by suggesting beauty rather than embodying beauty is one thing, but the gap-filled laminated plywood seems unintentionally sloppy and disrupts the potential for grander spiritual contemplation. Loehr is far more successful with the audio that accompanies the piece, a spiritual song speaking of “power and prayer” inspired by the poetry of Peter O’Leary. In the rear gallery, “Inward Generator #1” is a neat afghan-sized poly-satin quilt composed of images of light and arranged in a generally circular pattern to, again, inspire a centrifugal moment of introspection. More work is installed in the back office of the gallery, but serious formal distractions arise again amidst the clerical detritus. The works intend to be optimistic, and for that it is all that much more admirable. Yet, as a whole, the show speaks more to the frustrations concerning contemporary object making and spirituality rather than the sweet communication between god and angels of light. (Lisa Larson-Walker)
Through March 8 at Monique Meloche Gallery, 118 N. Peoria.
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