Los Angeles

David Gray

Ferus Gallery

David Gray’s recent work at the Ferus Gallery juxtaposes truncated and oblique chrome cylinders with white lacquered cubes. These steel pieces are well crafted, achieving the elegance of tastefully designed jewelry or furniture, but they demonstrate a physical continuity devoid of conceptual unity. L.A. #6 forms a two dimensional cylindrical square resting upon a white cube. This juxtaposition should create some unity between two separate entities but it does not. The negative space produced by the cylindrical configuration is devoid of a possible relation to the cube. The fact that each element refers physically to a square only sets up a problem, but does not resolve it. Simply joining cubes with cylinders and then attempting to relate them to their environment by projecting the sculpture against the wall or on the floor really solves nothing.

The awkward, discontinuous qualities in Gray’s sculpture do not relate well to the manner in which the late David Smith, for example, was able to impart a sustaining, over-all continuity to geometric forms on a grand scale, or to the tight unity of the geometric repetitions in space of Don Judd. There is a lyrical element in Gray’s sensibility which is at odds with the forms and methods he has chosen; one would suspect that his most native expression would be akin to the lyrical, organic overtones, of say, Kelly, or Anthony Caro.

Susan R. Snyder