Chris Sicat at Space 47 in San Jose
By Erin Goodwin-Guerrero

sicatatwork

Chris Sicat works on his Space 47 installation, Tag-a-Log.

Chris Sicat comes to Northern California from an interesting and diverse career in the arts in the Los Angeles area. Beyond his exhbition history an artist, he has impressive credentials as gallery director, and director of a dance troupe. His performance/installation at Space 47 in San Jose follows previous work with socio-political ramifications. Entitled, Tag-a-log, Sicat causes us to think of the rape of mahogany forests of the world.

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Working on chunks of wood of varied sizes and shapes, Sicat painstakingly “colors” the smooth surfaces with the strokes of a soft graphite pencil. He invites visitors to participate. In utilizing a form from nature and dedicating his attention to the drawing on it with another natural material, Sicat maintains his faithful commitment to working within nature. The transformation of the warm wood to a cool, reflective, silvery graphite surface, however natural it may be, is a radical shift. Visually stunning, yet eerie, his metallic looking stumps almost appear to be a doomsday premonition; a ghost of once-living nature rendered inert.

The showcase work in Sicat’s exhibition is a long slab of redwood that runs from one wall to the other, about 50 inches from the floor, about six feet into the room. Facing the door, only the rough bark is visible. Viewers must duck to get to the other cut side where the artist has been slowly working-in his graphite. In doing so, they “bow to nature”!

sicat-install

Space 47 has shown a clear interest in utilization of its space for installation and activation of the negative space around sculptural forms. This is a very successful example of converting the entire room to participation in the dialog over dimensions both soft and solid. At the same time it hosts the smaller works beautifully.

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