In an era almost freakishly maximized (if not downright maxed out) at all levels, the minimalist artwork of Ashley Colangelo comes almost as an existential balm, as exemplified by Neon Dream No. 2, shown here.
That delightful mobile numbered among roughly two dozen works showcased in the puckishly named solo exhibition “Lots of Lines Make Stripes,” on display from Sept. 12 to Oct. 3 at Dragon, Crab and Turtle, an intriguingly idiosyncratic new gallery in midtown St. Louis. Colangelo created Neon Dream No. 2 and all of the other works in the exhibition just this year.
One can easily envision that specific mobile’s 50- by 67-inch fluorescent pink-on-transparent acrylic geometric forms dancing on stray air currents with a vivacity worthy of the great 20th-century American sculptor Alexander Calder.
Of “Lots of Lines Make Stripes” in general, Colangelo notes that the exhibition “present[ed] new quilts, sculptures and mobiles to explore function through abstraction.
“My quilts use wonky stitching and scale to distort patchwork patterns, adding to the discourse of traditional quilting. Each quilt is paired with a free-standing cutout sculpture to play with unexpected color combinations and showcase the dialogue between hard and soft. Mobiles hang throughout the gallery, adding to the vibrant and whimsical world, moving slowly while reflecting and filtering fluorescent light.”
The title “Lots of Lines Make Stripes,” incidentally, comes from My First Book of Patterns, a splendid 2017 board book by writers Bobby George and June George and illustrator Boyoun Kim, Colangelo reveals before adding: “The show’s a reflection of my new experience as a new mother … ”