Marta Los Angeles exhibition pays homage to New Mexico
‘Tino’s White Horses’ by sculptor-designer Ross Hansen at Marta Los Angeles (until August 6, 2022) explore the desert landscapes of Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
As a trained landscape architect, one would expect sculptor-designer Ross Hansen’s work to be somewhat connected to the natural world. That couldn’t ring truer in Hansen’s latest exhibition, “Tino’s White Horses,” which is on view at Marta Los Angeles Design Gallery – his first solo show in his adoptive hometown.
Marta Los Angeles Presents Ross Hansen’s ‘Tino’s White Horses’
With Ross Hansen based between California and New Mexico, his latest pieces draw inspiration from the equine neighbors inhabiting the latter’s remote desert landscape. Functional pieces, which range from seating, lighting, furniture and vessels, specifically reference the unincorporated community of Ojo Caliente, best known for its distinctive geological formations and mineral hot springs. According to the Tewa tradition (a group of Pueblo tribes indigenous to New Mexico), the pools provide access to the underworld and thus mythically float between this world and the next.
Such duality is also present in Hansen’s new pieces, which expressively fuse biomorphic and architectonic forms and furniture typologies, with a delightfully ephemeral materiality derived from his use of epoxy resin, faux leather upholstery and sewn hemp fiberglass. As evocative of the natural as it is the spiritual world, the collection almost resembles an evolved species, cohabiting in a new realm.
“We have known and admired Ross’ work since discovering several of his pieces through Volume, the long-running Chicago gallery that represents Hansen here in the United States. Shortly after opening Marta in 2019 and learning that Hansen’s work/live studio was located just down the street in LA’s garment district, we invited Ross to take part in the now seminal “Under/Over (aka The TP Holder Show) to Marta,” says gallery co-founder Benjamin Critton.
“A small-scale follow-up in the gallery’s back room paired a console by Hansen with several paintings by LA artist Joey Cocciardi, the two of which had briefly overlapped at the Cranbrook Academy of Art several years earlier. .”
He continues, “The new ‘White Horses’ works not only engage with new material frontiers, but are also tonally and thematically bound by their relationship to the artist’s new seasonal property outside of Ojo Caliente. , New Mexico. Communion in part with the desert landscape of the Southwestern United States has imbued the works with a naturalism and, in some cases, a biomorphism that is particularly exciting as it relates to both the existing practice of artist and the general landscape of the contemporary functional work of art.
Although there are nods to pre-existing design styles – an overall ‘Under Lamp’ clearly draws inspiration from Italian modernist lighting, for example – much of Hansen’s lexicon belongs to him. Its resin-coated hemp baskets, almost like clogs in their elemental form, burst from the ground like a cluster of succulents, while the more monolithic, ethereally draped wood and epoxy coffee table in resin and polyester mesh’ Filter A’ room divider/lamp each convey their own unique tactility.
“Hansen’s work in ceramic epoxy resin has always attracted a number of different palettes in part due to its artful materiality,” concludes Critton. “At first glance, the works often seem to refer to natural stone and marble. However, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the pieces and their finish instead mimic common building materials that themselves have sought to imitate stone, such as formica, linoleum; the re-presentation of a representation of a natural material.’ §