Critics’ Picks

Installation view, 2006.

Installation view, 2006.


Vidya Gastaldon

Galerie Art: Concept
16, rue Duchefdelaville
April 29–May 27, 2006

As if looking after her children, the soft-yet-sturdy, papier mâché–and-wool body of Swiss artist Vidya Gastaldon’s God-mother (baba), 2006, stands as a proud and peaceful presence on two six-toed feet. Five tetrahedrals, wooden frames wrapped with colored, knitted wool, surround her. Sleeves of dark blue and grey wool clothe the thin wooden beams of Dark Tetrahedral, 2006, while the structural elements of Erotic Tetrahedral, 2006, are wrapped in pink and red. Divine Tetrahedral, 2006—dressed in blue, yellow, and golden orange—refreshes the characteristic symbol for a universal transcendentalism. In her drawings Brihaspati (the large teacher) and Ultra Super Mario Road, both 2006, Gastaldon appropriates the iconography of video game characters and gurus of Hindu mythology with equal care. Rather than imposing judgment, qualitatively separating the references, Gastaldon links these characters as followers of a goal-seeking path. These delicate works, two of eight included here, are realized primarily in pencil and watercolor and develop with lightness and curves rather than sharp lines. Cosmic Laugh + Plasma, 2006, depicts, with soft pencil and an easy hand, a scene of animated haemoglobin flowing across a field of flowers and mushrooms. A “cosmic laugh”—the ubiquitous ’60s smiley face with toothy grin and wide eyes, and which is one of the artist’s recurring motifs—watches over the scene from behind a sloping mountain peak.