consider links between nature and technology

In the galleries

March 18, 2016

Mark Jenkins

 


In separate Hamiltonian Gallery shows that dovetail conceptually, Nara Park and Dane Winkler consider links between nature and technology. The entrance is through Park’s “Between Millions of Years,” which stacks transparent plastic boxes in emulation of a rocky gorge in an Australian national park. It’s not exactly a grand canyon, since the building blocks are commonplace, unnatural and scaled to a gallery, not to all outdoors. And yet the narrow passageway does produce a strong sense of place.

Inspired by his farm upbringing, the prolific Winkler makes burly sculptures that combine the industrial and the agricultural. His “Homesteading” includes metal hooks, cables, pulleys and barrels, contrasted with animal products: lard, raw sheep’s wool and a pile (partially) of manure. Unlike some sculptors who work with large pieces of metal, Winkler doesn’t assemble them abstractly. His pieces appear to be functional, even if any possible purpose is obscure. What’s poignant about his work is its commentary on humans’ use of other animals. In his sculptures, remnants of living creatures become equivalent to such bloodless materials as sand, straw and iron.

Nara Park: Between Millions of Years and Dane Winkler: Homesteading On view through March 26 at Hamiltonian Gallery, 1353 U St. NW, Suite 101. 202-332-1116. hamiltoniangallery.com.

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