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Recent Sculpture by David Borgerding and Interpretations: House and Universe by Jennifer Odem

 

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Always highly regarded for his fluid imagination and polished craftsmanship, David Borgerding brings his sculptural vision more clearly into focus in this show at Callan Contemporary. Maybe it's those silky bronze surfaces, but these works seem more self explanatory than ever before, even if those explanations do not exist in words. Visual art speaks directly to the inner world of the psyche, and the forms that comprise these sculptures may evoke bones, stones or biological forms, but no specific associations are necessary because the pieces all sing in tune. Emblematic works like Pume (pictured front left) or Varudur, a more vertical work with similar free-form rectangles and rods, articulate a fluid progression of silent music that resonates in the secret recesses of the mind even if we have no idea why. It's a brilliant, breakthrough exhibition.

  Jennifer Odem's works at Tulane Univerity's Carroll Gallery explore universal forms, but here the details of their construction sometimes resonate tensions having to do with gender or technology. Inspired by geological formations and domestic handicrafts, many of her sculptures evoke white lace somehow calcified into stone over the ages. Flora Pearlinious suggests a hut on stilts encrusted with barnacle-like filigree, a home, perhaps, for wayward sea sprites. Continental Riser, is far darker. Inspired by a deep sea-dwelling worm, it sprouts flowers from its black lace surfaces while suggesting a flirtatious mutant life form, perhaps a legacy of the BP oil disaster. But Sister, which suggests an elaborate lacy, white-on-white crater, resonates contradictory notions of hard and soft, a strategy replicated in reverse by the similarly geological looking, but bulbously rounded Bounce, which evokes an oversized Victorian bustle with a zipper down the middle. Here Odem puts high and pop culture, ancient and contemporary forms, through a blender in a show that improbably, yet slyly, spans time and space. — D. ERIC BOOKHARDT

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