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Carol Milne: Knotty and Nice (Twisted and Coiled Structures)

Oct 18 - Dec 20, 2023 (extended through March 10, 2024)

Don’t let Carol Milne’s work fool you on first reading; it is muscular, macho, process-based work. Instead of flinging paint or chiseling at stone, the artist strategically creates complex structures with an ingenious fiber-inspired process. The artist slathers layer upon layer of plaster to build up massive molds into which is cast molten glass. Once cooled, the lattice-like sculptures within must be painstakingly chipped and scraped free of their encasement, using precise hand-held tools. Carol’s work represents the perfection of a rudimentary glass process used by the Egyptians over 3,000 years ago. The process alone astounds with its technicality and physicality.

The artist’s sculptures are grounded in the simple revelation that one can build big structures with fine fibers. Carol recognized that the interlocking loops that the knitting process consist of, produce a grid-like form in space. Carol leverages this foundational insight by fantastically mapping space with a translucent and colored structure, conjured with an amorphous solid known as glass.

The artist’s forms, draped and scrunched, twisted and coiled, reference back to the process itself, it’s technical, cultural and anthropological history. They also revel in the outrageous delight of all this fanciful freedom; they dance and leap, they spin and flow. This unquiet embrace of exuberant positivity boldly breaches the perverse taboo of solemn seriousness so many simply assume is required of art. And yet, if we cannot laugh, enjoy, celebrate, what good is it all? Should we not laugh at the absurdity of a multi-million-dollar Brillo box? Should we not delight at the delectable films of Matthew Barney? Should we not smile and enjoy the pad thai of Rirkrit Tiravanija? Carol thoughtfully challenges you to be floored by her skill, to celebrate the beauty she produces with it, and to cheer our culture that supports such stunning achievements. And when you do all that, laugh, in a deeply satisfying, existential way, for you have found pleasure in process