LINDA FLEMING: Allusion
May 17 – Jul 6, 2019
Following “Confluence,” her expansive retrospective exhibition at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Robischon Gallery is pleased to present California/Colorado-based artist Linda Fleming’s recent chrome and powder-coated steel wall sculpture alongside graphite and gouache drawings. Prominently featured in ten previous shows at the gallery, Fleming’s current exhibition entitled “Allusion,” expands upon her language of complex geometric forms which offer equal consideration to the potentialities of both the ephemeral and the fluidly architectonic. Known for her dynamic, free-standing large-scale outdoor works and light-responsive wall sculpture, Fleming’s distinctive visual vocabulary and extensive study of the natural world continues to unfold with each new exploration of form, surface and layered color. Anchoring “Allusion” is the large-scale Gossamer with its intricate curvilinear network and cloud-like contour of chromed steel. Defying its weighty materials, the work’s reflectivity responds to its environment as it visually absorbs the colors of its surroundings and amplifies the shifting light and shadow on site. For powder-coated works like Evening Breeze, vibrational color, instead of reflection, becomes the ephemeral element for the artist, by intentionally layering uncommon and contrasting shades such as fuchsia and deep yellow, and subtle hues like dark, warm grey and lavender grey. Each colored layer is in vibratory service to the next; the greys to elevate the strong yellow, the fuchsia to cast a faint pink glow on the wall behind. The graceful meandering lines unite the curvilinear sculptures on view, as well as lead the viewer into an experience of the unexpected.
Since the 1970s, sculptor Linda Fleming has worked in an impressive array of materials from the traditional to the progressive; from massive scale to intimate studies. Materials such as the exhibited chromed or powder-coated works, along with ongoing series in rusted steel, wood (in altered or natural forms) or works made of wool and rubber are inventively pursued to expand the artist’s visual vocabulary and her open-minded philosophical views. Fleming states, “My works hint at the co-existence of the mundane and the cosmological where two realities simultaneously exist including the possibility that the past is also present. The structures are diagrams of thought that provide a glimpse of the strangeness beyond the everyday world; opening a place where thought becomes tangible, history leaves a trace, and information exhales form. Physical sensation and perception are interdependent, and I sometimes wonder if what I am seeing is an indication of something outside of what I know or a sudden awareness of the blood vessels coursing through my eyes. Material can never fully communicate thought, which makes these elaborate constructions more poignant in their attempt than they would ever be in their articulateness.”
As further background, manifesting space for contemplative thought for herself and for the audience, Fleming’s previous grand-scale and ongoing specific sculptural projects are purposefully created to capture a sense of marvel within an all-encompassing meditative yet actively-shaped space. Each viewer is invited to walk inside the sculpture and physically situate themselves – standing, seated or in motion – to experience the shifts in daylight and the shaping of the light and shadow through the artist’s visually expanding form. For all of Fleming’s works, in exhibition or in studio, her intuitive explorations ultimately lead to an exacting process, as her creations often move through myriad stages from graphite drawing to paper model to wood model to full-scale fabrication. Artist and art writer Maria Porges, muses that “the continuity of Fleming’s work suggests thoughts and observations coalescing into abstract forms, invoking their sources even as they move beyond into the place where imagination makes its own set of inventions and discoveries – becoming something we’ve never seen before.” This dedication by Linda Fleming ensures that each delicate curve or precise angle contributes to the work’s overall impactful effect of graceful and geometric line in a grounded materiality.
Linda Fleming attended the San Francisco Art Institute and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She was a professor at California College of the Arts from 1986 - 2017, and held the position of Sculpture Department Chair from 1988 - 2000. She has received numerous prestigious recognitions including those from the International Sculpture Center, Peter S. Reed, Adolph & Ester Gottlieb and Pollack-Krasner foundations. Her work is in the permanent collections of Santa Clara University, the Berkeley Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Oakland Museum of California, University of Wyoming, Stanford University Museum, and Albuquerque Museum along with additional collections both public and private. Recent noteworthy exhibitions include: Fleming’s “Confluence,” exhibited at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and “Making Places,” exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, as well as her touring exhibition showcasing the artist’s extensive and intricate maquette series entitled, “Linda Fleming: Modeling the Universe” originating at the Nevada Art Museum and “Drawn To/Drawn From: A 45 Year Survey” at Oats Park Art Center, Fallon, Nevada; “Glimmer,” a site-specific sculpture for the Oakland Museum of Art, exhibited in the OMCA’s iconic sculpture gardens; and Robischon Gallery’s 2016 exhibition “DECLARATION,” in which Fleming’s work was exhibited alongside other historically-important and esteemed artists: Louise Bourgeois, Ruth Bernhard, Helen Frankenthaler, Ann Hamilton, Jae Ko, Yayoi Kusama, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Shirin Neshat, Judy Pfaff, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas and Kara Walker.