On November 3rd, I had the opportunity to attend the opening of MFA student Alex Lukas’ show, “87.5 to 107.9, 530 to 1710” with a few friends. Entering Powder Room, I noticed a markedly different atmosphere to the gallery; maybe it was the higher faculty to student ratio, or maybe it was just the space in general. Being able to see faculty outside of the CFA context in such a friendly and welcoming place was a very valuable experience.
In this exhibition, Lukas explored radio in a futuristic context; from the Powder Room’s show statement: “Lukas’ work examines removal of the lifeline provided by terrestrial broadcast.” Pieces in the exhibition featured motifs of digital display of the English alphabet and numbers 0-9, some of which shifted in time to background samples of music. Three paintings on polygonal canvases displayed this form of communication on a blue-white-orange-brown gradient. Weathering of the painting as well as the preciseness of the letters led to suggestions of a future with the presence of radio retained, albeit under distressed conditions. The sculptural elements of the show were fun and playful—featured was a sideways fluorescent structure that counted 0-9 then flashed the numbers quickly, as well as a spinning sculpture with the recurring digital motif. Curiously included, also, was a framed photograph of vividly colored tire planters in a lush setting. To me, the photograph suggested life before or separate from the lines of communication embedded in modern culture.
Some (pictured) highlights of the show were Bob Bingham’s excited antics with the spinning sculpture as well as a tiny table structure Lukas created to house some of the electronics for one piece. Overall I found this a very enjoyable show! Keep an eye out for Gray Swartzel’s opening at Powder Room Nov 17th.
For more information on Alex Lukas’ work: http://alexlukas.com
For more information on Powder Room: http://powderroom.website