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Art review: Laura Riboli at Redling Fine Art

November 6, 2009 | 12:15 pm

300(Ball) still 1 Laura Riboli’s spare but intriguing exhibition at Redling Fine Art takes a close look at the relationship between the body and geometry. In two projected video loops and a handful of photographs, Riboli juxtaposes perfect forms—a ball and a hula hoop, both pure white—with the lines of the figure. Each video features the same lithe young woman in a gray leotard and tights performing remarkable feats of dexterity and flexibility with one of the objects: rolling the ball along the back of her shoulders or flipping the hoop over and around her body.

Cropped tightly to create dynamic compositions, the projections read like moving abstract paintings, portraits of the body in thrall to geometry. This relationship becomes even clearer in a pair of photographs.

One is an image of the white ball alone on a black ground; the other depicts the woman in a graceful back bend that emulates the spherical form. This equivalence between object and body reveals, not surprisingly, the body’s failure to mimic the form exactly; but, in highlighting this gap between ideal and reality, the work debunks in a small way the quest for absolute transcendence that has characterized much abstract art, from Malevich to Rothko.

Instead, there is a kind of classicism in Riboli’s images. Perfect shapes like the sphere and the circle have formed the building blocks of representations of the body — think of Leonardo’s “Vitruvian Man,” inscribed in his perfect circle. In this way, Riboli’s works trace the flickering line between representation and abstraction, reminding us that all images are an intertwining of the two.

– Sharon Mizota

Laura Riboli, Redling Fine Art, 932 Chung King Road, Los Angeles. (323) 230-7415, through Nov. 29. Closed Sunday through Tuesday. www.redlingfineart.com

Photo: Rolls, Tosses, Rotations (Ball), 2009, Courtesy of Redling Fine Art.


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