Critical Mass

Critical Mass

Critical Mass, 2008-09

Cathy Aten
Wood, aluminum, light
Courtesy of Eileen Braziel Fine Arts

The fireplace or hearth is the spiritual heart of a space. Cathy Aten responded to the material and scorch marks of the lobby fireplace with her dirt-covered pyramidal forms. Their strict geometry contrasts with the rounded corners and edges of the fireplace (and the rounded edges characteristic of adobe architecture in general); they almost seem like cubist flames occupying this innermost of interior spaces. And the fact that artworks now reside in the fireplace underscores that it no longer serves its original function of “keeping the home fires burning.”


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