"Gisela Colon: New Sculpture" in Artillery Magazine

Feb. 13, 2018

Exhibition Review in "Gallery Rounds" by Peter Frank, February 13, 2018

In her last show with Rosenstein, Gisela Colon presented her first large free-standing object, a Parabolic Monolith that curved gracefully towards the gallery’s high ceiling and loomed over visitors. For Colon this was a notable translation of her light-and-space aesthetic into the physical realm of minimalist, and public, sculpture. The two Parabolic Monoliths that dominate her current show come as that much less of a surprise, then, reifying and refining the new size, and shape, Colon is now able to achieve.

The shock value gone, we can appreciate these monumental presences for their ethereal luminosity rather than merely for their height. In this regard, the shorter of the two, standing 12 feet high, is a particular knockout, displaying the same ravishingly luminous color-clouds found in the artist’s more familiar wall-hung Glo-Pods.

But other innovations and advances mark Colon’s latest exhibition. The Glo-Pods themselves, filling the walls (and branching off into a new series of Oblates and Spheroids) now offer that much wider a range of visual experience—less in their dependably irregular circumferences (although these, too, vary widely) than in the marked expansion of color phenomena. Indeed, Colon has suppressed her sweet tooth overall, presenting fewer delicious hues in favor of more nuanced tone-clouds. Some of these contain high-keyed nuclei, but others hew closely to a gray scale, as if somehow entrapping ghostly plasma or ocean mist.

The most radical and promising departure here manifests in a single Light Slab, composed of an acrylic color slab braced with small stainless-steel panels on each side. Here, Colon at once emphasizes and transcends the thingness of the free-standing object. It is positioned so that we approach it obliquely, noticing the harsh reflectivity of the steel brace before confronting the calming, decentering expanse of translucent color. At once obdurate in its material facture and nearly invisible in its blanket-like wall of atmosphere, this Light Slab seems a science-fiction postulation come to life, a portal to some other universe or state of being.