I’m actually kinda pleased whenever I find that images on a gallery’s website don’t do an artist’s work justice. There are so many great sites that you can visit that’ll give you your daily art fix that it’s heartening to find qualities that are simply irreproducible as a jpeg, no matter the number of pixels. Method, presentation and experience, it turns out, can all be considered under the right circumstances as victims of lossy.
So, here are your options: you can either take my word for it or you can head over to Rena Bransten Gallery yourself to view Amparo Sard’s The Error of Oversight: New Work. The white frames and white paper hiding in plain sight on the walls like peppered moths require your close attention, preferably with eyes no more than three inches from the genuine article.
The figures in each work are composed of precise stippling, using a pin rather than a pen, so that the surface of the paper rises in gentle mounds describing contours and giving emphasis to intricate patterns on clothing. The subtle bas-relief allows extremities to submerge into the milky background in Untitled (Four legs – after the mistake) (or has the “mistake” lopped them off altogether?). Following the series around the gallery counter-clockwise, limbs begin to become disjointed and disembodied. In a piece from The Error Series, 2007, the female figure grasps two child sized arms like tools as if divorced or debarred from her immediate physical sensations.
Eventually the subject’s forms begin to stretch like taffy, tubed tentacles lazily puddle around torsos or dangle from holes in nearby walls. In Untitled (Divided by the half – still alive), the woman has been completely bifurcated, but her heart fills the foreground. Fragile, mangled, twisted and pulled, Sard’s figures each have a kind of resilience built into the details. There is the occasional expression of disbelief, but more often those of determination or accord. In Divided perspective wins out: broken, but the heart still beats.