Critics’ Picks

View of “Ginger Wolfe-Suarez: A Thing Repeated Is Not Always the Same,” 2015.

View of “Ginger Wolfe-Suarez: A Thing Repeated Is Not Always the Same,” 2015.

Los Angeles

Ginger Wolfe-Suarez

831 North Highland Avenue
March 21–May 2, 2015

And there they are, a bouquet and a sunset, again and again. In this spare installation, the materials couldn’t really be more basic. A series of landscapes depicting the same cloud-banked sunset, what seems to be another, of flowers, then light, rocks, yarn, mirrors, walls—subtle teases of scent. Yarn stretches across the corners of rooms from ceiling to floor, each colored thread a uniform few centimeters from the next, arrayed in rays of pure color over the spare, white walls, in what the artist likens to Color Fields. The yarn is soaked in essential oils, whose scent hits you like a wall, and memory wraiths out and away. The sunset being light-boxed throughout the series “As Far As I Can See,” 2015, rather than diminishing, better reveals its beauty.

The floral images look like photocopies of the same bouquet, but they’re not. Lovingly hand drawn, the artist deliberately made them appear to be cheap reproductions. Repetition does not mean sameness, and context really matters. Placed mostly on hunks of wall cut differently and leaning throughout, they whisper that every cheap bouquet, given its time and space, matters differently. The series title is a tender reveal: “A Thing Repeated Is Not Always All the Same,” 2015.

Cliché is removed by context, and some symbols still freight meaning. Theatrical sentiment emerges from real emotion, but the tawdry nature of a cheap bouquet disappears if it were to be placed on a tombstone, clutched tightly in a sickly hand, or handed in a twilight bloom from one old lover to another. That sunset might just deepen in color if you knew it to be your last.