Stroking the Latest Threadbare Design From Lead Pencil Studio

More threadwork of solid architecture.

Like their previous installations at Suyama Space and the Henry, Lead Pencil Studio's aptly-named "Drawing Space" reinvents architectural facts, often using delicate materials to embody solid objects. It's the first full-scale, "solo" gallery show for the artist/architect duo of Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo—in the gallery that they themselves designed: Lawrimore Project.

Visit Lawrimore and you'll see light cast in monofilament. Diagonal lines connect three blackened, curve-topped false windows high on the wall with the raw cement floor. Delicate blue thread streaming from window to floor articulates the idea of moonlight, while evoking the lines of a pencil. Conceived during the artists' residency at San Francisco's Headlands Center for the Arts, Arrival at 2 a.m. is a drawing in thread. When I visited on a sunny day, the door to the gallery was open just a smidge, sun casting bright shapes on the floor: actual light, actual color marking the surface, as if in a playful nod to this piece.

Sharing the main space is a minimalist work composed of four welded metal sculptures suspended high in the air, evoking high, cobwebbed corners, dusty with neglect. The corners make you feel that if you step within their perimeter, you're occupying created space—you step into the piece itself. This work is a neat shorthand: Here, with these four objects, is a room; only somehow, it's not an empty box in a naked gallery but a room in a building fraught with history, and someone else's old dirt.

In Lawrimore's middle room, you'll find a row of six thread columns suspended from the ceiling, another featherweight translation of a solid architectural form. The fluted columns flutter and billow as your movement disturbs the air they occupy, a tangible reminder that columns like these cast in stone have a hand behind them, that they once were blue lines on someone's plans.

This exhibit also includes compelling video of Han and Mihalyo's architectural construct, Maryhill Double, installed last summer across the river from the Maryhill Museum of Art in Central Oregon. Built to size, the double was dressed in a skin of netting to allow light to pass through. The video piece, Maryhill Double: Extended Approach—shot by the pair in their car—moves like a game, beginning with a fast drive along a curvy road, with the viewer in the driver's seat. Once the car stops, you hear the sound of footsteps, of running through tall grass.

Maryhill Double: Aerial Analysis depicts a flyby of the museum itself. Both high-speed, winding trips pay attention to the scrubby landscape, with its beautiful hills, dry, yellow grasses, and roadside shrubbery. Another video, Maryhill Double: Walking Analysis, documents the movement of visitors around the Double. Following the sped-up, antlike circumambulations of visitors taking their laps around the piece, there's a beautiful scene looking up through the skin of the Double. At dusk a breeze blows the net roof, which ripples like the surface of a shallow tide pool.

Perhaps the most striking piece in this show is Charged Column, a column of thread (like those in the other room) knotted in the middle, its base poofing out like a wide skirt. Gallery owner Scott Lawrimore invites me to touch the piece: Threads jump out at my fingers, and then fall back. Each is suspended on its own static charge, equidistant from its fellow threads. What happens when the piece is touched too much? "It loses its charge," Lawrimore says, "and it has to be brushed." He pulls out a soft bristled brush, and begins to comb the threads, creating static electricity. The threads jump out, recharged, hanging on the air. Stroking the work, Lawrimore smiles, "I like the idea of a collector having to groom their art."

agrant@seattleweekly.com

 
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