Lila de Magalhaes

Abode
840 N Wilton Place
March 24, 2017–June 24, 2017

Lila de Magalhaes, Sun and Moon, 2017, dyed fabric, thread, chalk pastel, each 17 x 14". Installation view.

Spider legs delicately dance on the plush skin of a fresh peach as a haloing fly delivers a golden boot while nearby electric-orange slugs trail paths through dreamy forests veiled in hazy greens and downy pinks—such are the scenes in Lila de Magalhaes’s elaborate embroideries and ceramic creatures for her Los Angeles debut at the inaugural exhibition of this apartment gallery. The space is open for informal dinners rather than traditional gallery hours, and its gatherers cohabitate with a menagerie of webbed, gossamer scenarios and scattered body parts.

A soft spell mists over all of it. A cat’s claws slicing up a girl’s face can look tranquil when colored and crafted just so, doubled here above the mantle in different colors for Sun and Moon (all works 2017). Even a swirl of sculptural shit on the carpet—ssss and ss—can look like ice cream. Throughout the apartment, smooth ceramics snake around and poke out from the walls, resembling loose tentacles. Elsewhere a couple of ears sprout over a mirror while cherry-tipped eyes peer out from a sculpted cat in the kitchen and from atop snail stems in the bricks of a mock fireplace.

It’s a little Odilon Redon, a little Fantasia. With bruised charm, de Magalhaes’s works layer gentility over the grossness and grief of her creations no matter how they might conspire and squirm.

Andrew Berardini