Hollenback’s fluorescent plexiglass and steel constructions might
at first seem just perfunctorily clever in the way that much minimalist
sculpture is. The 13 works now on view at d berman gallery — all but
one wall-based sculpture — are painstakingly neat and tidy. Ordinary
home improvement store stainless steel studs form precise, elongated
rectangles of varying dimensions on to which are attached panels of
Day-Glo acrylic plexiglass. Hollenback riffs on the rectangular form,
smartly displaying them solo in ‘Horizontal Flute’ or grouping them
such as the trio ‘Flutes 1, 2, & 3.’
( ‘Flutes 1, 2, & 3.’)
But whereas so much minimalist artwork remains cool, detached and
cerebral, there’s a real visceral impact and sincere playfulness to
Hollenback’s sculpture. And that feels refreshing and new.
For starters the pink, orange and green fluorescent plexiglass grabs
and holds the light in intriguing ways. You’d think these geometric
constructions are electrified light-boxes, but they’re not. No, the
raw edges of the plexiglass glow with an almost preternatural intensity.
And the stainless steel studs? Hollenback cuts out circles along some
of the studs and lets other factory-made cutouts stay. Thus, these
wall-hanging lightboxes cast intriguing reflections on the white gallery
walls that you can view only when you peer into one of the cutouts
or stand right up next to the wall. Who would think that such initially
subtle artworks would demand such viewer interaction.
Hollenback, who until recently lived in San Antonio, impressed last
year with his free-standing plexiglass and steel box in Arthouse’s
‘New American Talent.’ He has a similar phoneboothlike piece on view
at d berman. Walk inside and you’re encased in translucent, vibrant
green glow. Who says the world doesn’t look better through lime green-colored
Hollenback thinks so. And he’s trying to challenge your initial impressions
by smartly enticing you to wonder just how he transformed such ordinary
materials into something simple and magic.
(‘Tom Hollenback’ continues noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays through
Sept. 1 at (D Berman Gallery)[http://www.dbermangallery.com), 1701
Guadalupe St. Free. 477-8877.)
Back to previous page.