Featured Art Review: Plexus no. 8

Featured Review: Plexus no. 8 Using lengths of fine, brightly dyed thread, Mexico City-born artist Gabriel Dawe creates a large-scale, site-specific installation that absorbs, bends and refracts light to spectacular and spectral effect. To say the work is "woven" is imprecise, though the thin strands that compose the piece are laced through floor and ceiling eyehooks, their discrete rows blending in the viewer's eye to create an ethereal whole. And as a direct deconstruction of weaving itself — a craft identified with Dawe's native country — it re-envisions both cottage industry and cultural signifier, resulting in a piece that speaks to more transcendent qualities, even the notion of transcendence itself. That the tall, twisting piece is contextualized in a former chapel and lit by a row of luminous clerestory windows pushes this point, underscoring its other-worldly effect as well as its sheer and illusory nature. This is the handicraft version of Op Art, creating all the optical buzzing and retinal dissonance of a full-color Bridget Riley. Whether appreciated for its conceptual motivation or simply for the "holy smokes, that's really cool" factor, the work doesn't fail to gratify. Through August 27 at the Luminary Center for the Arts, 4900 Reber Place; 314-807-5984 or www.theluminaryarts.com. Hours: noon-6 p.m. Wed.-Sat.

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