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By Any Means Un/Necessary

Mission 17, December 16th January 15th
by Alison Bing for SFGate

Golden Means

Don't believe the art-supply-store hype -- as “By Any Means Un/Necessary” proves, the necessary means for noteworthy art isn't gilded frames, Carrara marble or expensive oils, but raw talent. In fact, the most impressive works in this show are the ones made with the meanest means available, including balance sheets, plastic freezer bags and even lint. “My Newest Collections in Tape” reveals the residue of days accumulated on rolls of duct tape, unfurling to show a life story told entirely intextures: eggshells that have been walked on one too many times; crushed flowers, perhaps from a bygone love affair; and a delightfully decadent abundance of gold glitter. The ends transcend the means both here and in Kristina Noelle Lewis' "Pods I," a mesmerizing installation of round prism sculptures that refract the gallery lights in dizzying mandalas -- pretty heady stuff, especially considering these "pods" are made entirely of plastic bags. Freed of their contents, these erstwhile doggie bags seem filled with light and some mysterious higher purpose. In another work, Jill Sylvia's "Accounted For," a ledger sheet has each entry meticulously cut out of the grid, like a tax statement prepared by an obsessive-compulsive mobster. Sylvia has turned the balance sheet into delicate latticework, draping gently down from a picture frame with all the grace of antique lace. This beguiling piece puts our obsessive valuations in proper perspective: no matter how limited the means available, the possibilities still remain unlimited in the busy hands of inspired artists.

Copyright 2005 Alison Bing. First published SF Chronicle online edition (SFGate) January, 2005. Used with author's permission; all rights reserved by the author


By Any Means UnNecessary

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