New York

Richard Hogle, John Van Saun and Preston McClanahan

Howard Wise Gallery

Richard Hogle and John Van Saun present more traditional work: neatly crafted structures raised out of translucent whitish plastic in turn subdivided and compartmentalized and lastly lit from within. Hogle stagger-circuits staccato-like illuminations in his boxes or deforms light projections by shooting colored beams through rotating perforated screens hidden within the box’s innards. John Van Saun’s major piece is composed of sixteen rectangular columns that light up in colors while prettily chiming affecting toy-piano tones.

Preston McClanahan is interested in the edges rather. than the forms of things. One of his pieces presents three rotating inverted “trees” of graduated clear plastic rods lit from a central column. The tips of the rods syncopate in bright dots. My preference goes to his group of three transparent plastic sheets, softly folded into irregular screens. One edge, either the side or bottom, depending on how the screen is set down, is attached to a tube which encloses still another neon (?) tube. The color flows out, so to speak, along the edge, that is, along the thickness of plastic sheet and delicately surrounds it while softly agglomerating in luminous bruises along the folds.

My deepest reservations are of course directed against the confectionary character of the color, which has inevitably resulted from using neon fluorescent light. But then again there is no such thing as an ugly color, and I am no longer sure that there are even ugly color relationships; at least I have yet to see one mixed on a palette of light.

Robert Pincus-Witten