Michael Anthony Simon’s use of angles, texture and lighting shows that a viewer’s relative place and time determine the depth of observation. What appears to be a painted red box interrupted by streaks of white from far away turns out to be a parallelogram as one comes closer, stepping to either side of the painting. As the viewer changes position to see all the angles, the act of viewing becomes an interactive attempt to understand the work in its entirety. Complete perception of a sphere hanging from an adjacent wall is nearly impossible. The light refracting off the globe’s lacquer finish portrays a continual corona of emerald with a rich magenta center wherever the viewer stands. A sculpture without pattern seems to portray a mélange of flags, with strips of orange crossing strips of black, hyacinthine and fluorescent green. The structure itself is very angular and disconnected, almost seeming to resemble letters. But the structure does not emerge as anything concrete regardless of how many observations the viewer makes. While trying to get an understanding of Simon’s pieces, the chaos created by ephemeral perceptions is not easily reconciled. When interpreting visual stimuli, does any meaning need to be gained?
(Ben Broeren) Through December 4 at Contemporary Art Workshop, 542 West Grant Place