Strauss Bourque-LaFrance Moves In

Effie Bowen

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ABOVE: Staging the Efforts of a Revolving Cause, 2012 (concrete, vinyl vase, black rose, paint, digital print on canvas; 48x74in)

Spring cleaning starts early with "In The The Spring," Strauss Bourque-LaFrance's first solo show at emerging downtown gallery KANSAS. The 29-year-old, New York-based artist's immaculately edited arranging of his own sculptures summon a unique style between interior design, sculpture and painting.

His crafted papier-mâché animals, clay cigarettes, and faux-marble stilettos accompany quotidian commodities like bedsheets, books, and live plants and negotiate value systems of found, bought, and created objects. In Breathing on a Mirror (2012), Bourque-LaFrance stands a contorted wire and an open book upon a pedestal, a space historically designated to emphasize hierarchy. By employing the metaphor and physicality of the pedestal, he simultaneously affirms and confronts its meaning.

At KANSAS, Bourque LaFrance will transform into what he calls "mass-produced luxury—the condo, granite, stainless, central air, palms." He's installed wall-to-wall white carpeting and will exhibit his sculptures and paintings influenced by minimalism, geometric abstraction, and the Memphis Group. A playful atmosphere pervades. TROPIC ONE TROPIC ALL (2012), a gridded mixed media bearing the same phrase as the title, and Glory, (2012) a vinyl strip with holes cut out, are clever.

Each piece does not terminate at the top of the pedestal or bottom of the canvas, but becomes enhanced when experienced as a whole, like in Ego Positioning (2008) which visually connects like elements through an open space. Objects of various sizes and shapes blossom with Bourque-LaFrance's keen perspective for spatial design and insistence upon an independent, yet intimate visuality.

Current Issue
August 2014

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