In human eyes, color inhabits a fine metropolis of cones near the fovea, while rods populate the suburban retinal landscape. As a survival mechanism of Crayola commerce, vibrant wavelengths register upon presharpened cone tips in central focus, while motion—in the high contrast brush of dark upon light—shadows a peeled paper commute of macular rod stubs. They generally trade shifts night and day, which is perhaps why arriving at Sade’s purple carpeted, fern hanging installation from a waxing crescent haze etched such radiance behind the crowd. But there is more than just a blind spot planted unsquare in the center of Ariana Papademetropoulos’ paintings, forcing viewers to look beyond evolutionary blind spots.
Like an aberrant raindrop magnifying a deskjet photograph until the inks evaporate, the temporary obstruction approaches a threshold of representative topography. Papademetropoulos’ brushwork impulsively squashes that geodesic reservoir flat, like fly juice oozing out from mulitfaceted eyes. There in the wrinkled edges of the color basin, foothills are revealed like sunspots in a solar eclipse. Trudging towards the center of the cinder cone to gather rare pigments, Papademetropoulos traces away oriental patterning, her sharp periphery pirouetting against the eye’s central focus. It’s like falling into an iris—less a tie-dye tongue twister and more a knockout punch.
One immediately feels a certain nostalgia for an elementary globe spinning pastel countried geology, with a turntable fingerprint needle reading Rocky Mountain braille in relation to Alpen accents. The pinprick game of global travel carves fingernail itineraries, until pressure scratches vinyl lilt to a halt—there! Papademetropoulos Djs equally humble optics, framing delicately furnished interiors before weathering the dreamy viewer through its central wormhole abstraction, diving into a coronal glow of full atmosphere. Fovea is made to keep focus on the spinning blur, where the concentration of blue rods is minimized, as if oceans were to centrifugally redistribute up tributaries. Or perhaps we’re spinning in reverse, with ladies and lords returning to summer doll house interiors, unwrapping time into a blurry cellophane dinner ball. A panoramic reference to Rosenquist’s Gift Wrapped Doll series is less crinkly with the edges, having smoothly swallowed the canvas whole. For anyone uniquely challenged in locating one’s own parked car in broad daylight, the telekinetic afterglow of Papademetropoulos’ work says never leave home. Firmly planted between purple carpet, fluorescence, and floating ferns, why would anyone want to?
On view at Sade through April 26, 2015.