Critics’ Picks

April Street, Pink Rope, 2012, acrylic, hosiery, cast bronze, 70 x 31 x 3".

Los Angeles

April Street

Carter & Citizen
2648 La Cienega Ave. (not Blvd.)
September 8–October 20

The tenuous solidity of April Street’s new paintings places them in dialogue with the informel, or formless, as defined by Georges Bataille and taken up by Rosalind E. Krauss and Yve-Alain Bois in their 1997 book of the same title. Yet the materiality of Street’s painted and sculpted nylon, and its indexical relationship to the body, echoes less ephemeral work by the likes of Eva Hesse and Alina Szapocznikow. Street begins each piece by wrapping her body in paint-soaked fabric and reenacting, on canvas, the positions she imagines she has taken while sleeping. She proceeds with a series of mark-making that includes pressing, staining, and tracing. The painted nylon is twisted, tied, and draped on, over, and around stretched canvases and—in some of the strongest works—directly on walls. Pink Rope, 2012, consists of a thin curve of twisted fabric, painted in muted reds and blues, held together at one end with a cast bronze knot and temporarily suspended in a graceful arc by a pair of tacks. The type of nylon Street uses for this body of work is the same used in hosiery and bathing suits; its distinctive and familiar color and texture lend a disquieting intimacy, suggestive of proximity, not to a conceptual body, but to a living, breathing person. Ostensibly undetectable in the final result, the works’ beginnings in experience—in the space between kinesthetic memory and action—gradually emanate through layers of painted fabric shifting subtly in passing breezes, and sculptural ropes that hover at the edge of unfurling, like a dream or memory just out of reach of consciousness.