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Making pictures on a loom, as the Swiss-born, Los Angeles-based artist Christina Forrer does, instead of on canvas or paper, checks a couple of interesting boxes automatically. It invokes the serious feminist art project of reclaiming “women’s work” and at the same time it lampoons the contemporary art world’s infatuation with digital media. A tapestry is a reminder that French artisans mastered pixelation, as well as a kind of analog coding, a good 500 years before the internet.
The way Ms. Forrer does it, flinging loose clusters of marauding, Muppet-like figures across backgrounds of bold color and complex pattern, also tempers the pictures’ importance as pictures. Not that you don’t still look first at the purple girl with enormous green eyes in “Three Awake,” for example. It’s just that the rich patch of indigo you’ll subsequently notice in the piece’s upper left corner is equally significant.
Another way to put it would be to say that Ms. Forrer’s woven sprites and the rich but indistinct worlds they inhabit all seem of a piece, which lends her scenes of giddy mayhem an appropriately dreamlike quality. Some of the nearly 20 characters that inhabit the 10-foot-tall “Untitled (brown background)” issue from others’ mouths, and it’s impossible to tell whether the whole bunch of them are meant to be flying, falling or frozen in place, whether they’re fighting one another to the death or just desperately holding on.
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