I Saw This

Leo Saul Berk at Hedreen Gallery.

Naj Tunich is the name of a winding, many-limbed underground Mayan cave in Guatemala, rediscovered in 1980 and visited by artist Leo Saul Berk six years ago. Now Berk takes over the Hedreen Gallery with three meditations on this ancient subterranean world. Suspended just above the floor in the center of the gallery is a sculpture in yellow foam depicting only the cave's passageways: What is hollow in nature is solid here. The winding tunnels have the sinuous feel of body parts, intestines maybe. Recreating a computer model of the cave with sparkly Gelly Roll pens (a medium Berk has used before, in a 2005 exhibit at Howard House), Berk also renders a pair of near-architectural drawings of a sprawling, tentacled, organic form, one in metallic-tinged blue, the second in reddish tones. Again, the negative space is made tangible. The 14-foot-wide drawing Underworld Cave (above)—its limbs spilling onto several sheets of paper—reads like a scrim of mesh, all curves and river-like undulations, lit with sparkle.Hedreen Gallery, 901 12th Ave., 323-9405, www.seattleu.edu/artsci/finearts/leecenter/hedreen.html. Ends Aug. 23.

 
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