AN ARTISTIC LESSON IN PHYSICS
By Kimberly Johnson
The idea of uncategorized particles is romantic and comforting—the idea that everything within nature and the unpredictable universe is interrelated through the reproduction of similar patterns on every scale from microcosmic to macrocosmic. While science in general has the ability to make individuals exclaim feelings of disdain and remarkable confusion, it also is capable of unveiling life’s most unexplainable happenings that would otherwise perplex the mind indefinitely.
Wistfully dangling, waiting to be attracted to some fixed constant and unrestrained by neither place nor time, the subject of uncategorized particles in physics adhere to their own rules until formulaic equations and algorithms of the most prestigious degree summon them to composure. They are the rebels of modern science—the shocking truth in a seemingly fantastical fable, and Amy Myers has idolized this very subject matter in her latest installation, “Different Particles & Indeterminate States: New Monumental Drawings by Amy Myers.”
I had the Culver Center for the Arts at my sole discretion. Alone in the towering building, I was able to freely walk amongst the art, unreserved and unbothered. This solitude is worth mentioning, given the fact that Myers’ collection is one in particular that would have no beneficial outcome of attempting to discuss it with another human soul. There’s a higher probability of adverse outcomes if I had attempted to explain how the abstract figures in their softly etched pastel blues, hushed peach tones and mystical white overlays seemed to transform from inter-dimensional roadways to the convincing image of a praying mantis and then to a well-illustrated vulva in the matter of seconds. Several of Myers’ drawings convey true dimensional qualities, sucking the viewer out of reality to peer at the lives of those exisiting within her depicted parallel universe of spherical shapes—all the same in content and quality, only varying to adhere to the needs of each makeshift plane.
Myers is a woman who yearns to imprint symmetrical conceptual images onto sheets of enlarged paper, yet bypasses the use of our many technological advances. She encompasses the ability to create symmetry far greater than that of the hand, because she wants to feel the leg work and wants to ride the waves of her own spellbinding creation. The interconnected quality of each strategically calibrated line is laced, woven and crocheted through the other. This creates an experience where the artistic process is shamelessly portrayed; giving the audience the ability to see as each idea is conceived and plotted. Myers’ raw fashion even goes as far as allowing the obvious presence of furious eraser marks and unfinished doodles to share the spotlight alongside her focally centered works. This could be a criticism of Myers’ series—too little of the process left to the imagination and too much unwarranted audacity.
The lonesome silence of the Culver Center, only awakened by the occasional echoed footsteps of a not so nearby employee, hatched an assumption—it is quite presumable that Myers suffers from the joyous, yet crippling dilemma of being involved in a hypnotic love affair. Dressed in complexities and demanding patience—she discloses the intimate qualities of her courtship with particle physics, from the overwhelming size of each piece in the series, down to her minimalistic medium of graphite, gouache and conte crayon on paper.
Myers speaks openly of her infatuation with particles and their ability to have free-flowing and shape shifting mobility, consequently challenging their unfixed nature by emulating their unique qualities. It is complex. It is intimate. She doesn’t offer the viewer a guide into what they are intended to see by naming each work with a relatable accompanying image; alternatively, the drawings carry names such as Operetta Inside Atom and Fearful Symmetry. It would seem that any metamorphic figure these images take is actually partially due to their asymmetrical qualities acquired from Myers’ welcomed lack of machine-like precision.
“Different Particles & Indeterminate States” encompasses a reoccurring theme of unhalted fluidity and the dichotomy involved with constraining it. Myers’ uses her determined hand to illustrate abstract figures often edged off by shapes of round circular proportions against sharp, brash contrasting ones. See for yourself how her drawings are large and excitingly intimidating in not only size, but in their desirably cryptic content.
“Different Particles & Indeterminate States: New Monumental Drawings by Amy Myers,” On Display Thru Sat, Nov. 23. Sweeney Art Gallery, 3834 Main St., Riverside, (951) 827-3755; www.sweeney.ucr.edu.