The strategic manipulation and disorientation of material: concrete, paper, ink, and fiber, link the four distinct series displayed in Analia Saban’s “Folds and Faults.” As the exhibition title alludes, each work either weaves these materials together or ruptures them apart, implying the objects as dualistically latent with the potential to either decay or expand, break apart or coalesce. The materials are further applied in methods contrary to everyday expectation; acrylic paint is used as fiber and woven with linen to create wall pieces that are neither entirely paintings nor sculptures, and linen canvas is presented in photographs so hyper-realistic the viewer experiences the fabric as uncannily tactile.
Undoubtedly the most significant series is the concrete sculptures, Folded Concrete (Spiral Fold, Accordion Fold, and Gate Fold) (2017) and Draped Concrete (2017). The smoothly poured concrete, discordant with its material properties, is draped over sawhorses and folded like paper; at each crease an aestheticized circular breakage radiates with pristine fissures and cracks. Both the anxiety and beauty of ruin is drawn forward in these pieces, however the deep uncertainty of that ruin is barely scratched. Saban seems to approach the concrete with a predetermined idea of how the breaks should happen, disallowing more instinctive fractures. Despite the ostensible imperfection in the broken concrete, the work is wholly clean and calculated.
In Threadbare (2017), the destruction of the linen is similarly controlled; thread-by-thread the fabric is unwoven into a contained mess that still retains its original structure and minimalist aesthetics. With these two series the uncontrolled is conveyed through overtly controlled methods, subtly, very subtly, belying the sleek perfection of Minimalism. In a not too dissimilar manner the works with woven fabric and folded paper construct a texturally complicated surface, providing an alternative to slick surface treatment, while still retaining geometric essentialism.
Analia Saban, “Folds and Faults,” June 28 – August 19, 2017 at Sprüth Magers, 5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036, www.spruethmagers.com.