suspending burly wooden beams

In the galleries: Semi-fictional streetscapes resemble stage sets

by Mark Jenkins

The Washington Post

January 29, 2016

D.C. sculptor Rob Hackett is known for suspending burly wooden beams in midair, as if they were feathers caught in an updraft. Most of his pieces in “Mode(s),” at Hamiltonian Gallery, take a more conventional posture. Five floor-to-ceiling pillars pretend to support the room’s ceiling; they’re rectangular and made of light wood, although notches at differing heights reveal inner metal bars that appear to be structural.

They curve from floor to wall and are segmented like a human spine or a centipede’s sections. These pieces could be wooden approximations of part of a whale’s skeleton, but they also suggest — especially when walking through them — the vault of a cathedral (or a Metro station). Stripped to pure form, the ribs of a mammal or of a building are curiously similar.

Rob Hackett: Mode(s) On view through Feb. 13 at Hamiltonian Gallery, 1353 U St. NW. Suite 101. 202-332-1116.

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