New York

Dawn Ladd

Bridges + Bodell

This impressive solo show of recent work by New York–based Dawn Ladd revealed an artist with a singular flair for turning industrial materials into richly suggestive forms. Ladd’s metal assemblages comprise a variety of agricultural implements including blades, pipes, axles, and chains, which are illuminated from within so that rays of light emanate from cracks and joints as if these sculpted pieces were animated by their own life force.

Whether they take the form of hanging metal shields or lit wall pieces that could almost double as lamps, these works not only transform familiar objects but celebrate the intrinsic qualities of these objects’ materials and their sinuous, suggestive lines. Take, for example, the subtly swelling, majestic proportions of the shields, which bring to mind both abstract reliefs and medieval armor. The lit metal encasements appear to be charged with a magical vitality; among the most provocative are those that feature swirling concave and convex curves that when filled with light form glowing, luminous passages. Drawing as much from the world of everyday objects as from the curving excesses of Art Nouveau and the sleek lines of space-age decor, Ladd’s work rests somewhere between sculpture and utilitarian object, creating a bridge between art and design.

Ronny Cohen