Three hundred and one

Construction (Plastic) I

2011 by Allyson Vieira
Laurel Gitlen

Vieira’s sculptures are received with much merit and, like many sculptors, her drawings possess an equal ability to command attention. Similar to how we saw Henry Moore’s sculpting mind translated to paper in postcard 225, Vieira’s three dimensionality is here tamed to the page. Like Moore who drew with the inky stroke of felt-tip — calligraphy-like colour on white — Vieira uses the freeing medium of gouache; both betray a sense of immediacy and the expressive impulse of free-handed drawing. Vieira’s white flows effortlessly in its varying densities, creating the milky translucence, as well as the gleaming edge, of  moulded plastic. This light, almost weightless, approach to mark making summons the bodies of her subjects, which, full of air, barely weigh anything themselves. The attention paid to the creation of mass is surely reflective of her usual focus on a physical and sculptural medium; Vieira achieves a similar emphasis on physical form in her two dimensional work. This emphasis is then reinforced by her piling of plastic objects in the image, building a tower — a sculpture – before our eyes. As a sculptor, the enjoyment of colour we see Moore manipulating in his drawing (as indeed did Gaudier-Brzeska in postcard 300) is echoed in Vieira’s work; her background, usually uncertain, is determinedly deep and indigo — blue and inky as the absorbing density of the night sky. Vieira’s lines, white like her sculpture, play with confidence upon this canvas, never unsure of their clarity. Construction (Plastic) I is a triumph, deriving perhaps from the fact that here is an artist that looks to manipulate the expressions of form.


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