March 2017: Alicia Little

In Blog, Photography, Reviews By by Colette Mihocik On May 25, 2017



Alicia Little, Installation Shot, 2017




Alicia Little’s exhibition Stand ups and low riders/ fragments and the end takes you to a playground of absurdity. The work harmonizes a space between painting and sculpture, employing the formalities of color and form to create abstract shapes that avoid explicit reference, and simultaneously are enticing in the same formal sense. Her sculptures are made from plaster and paint materials, each piece specific and unique, as well as playful and inviting. In some moments the exhibition hints at an essence of something bodily with it’s elongated and phallangic forms, at others the shapes are more obscure. One of the delights of Little’s work is that everything begs for comparison to objects out in the world. For example, her piece Slope, Tip is just as readily referred to as “a piece of toast with jelly” or “a picture frame” or “a pink quadrilateral propped by an orange tube.” The audience is surrounded in the exhibition by these sculptures, with each encounter calling upon the little nuances of their material and composition.






Alicia Little, Fragment (Coil Snake),  plaster and paint, 2017




Like a biologist, Little categorizes each sculpture by how it functions or exists in space. A piece is either a “stand up,” “low rider” or a “fragment.” The fragments accurately resemble what their name suggests—singular and momentary, the shapes are contextualized only by the gallery floor or wall they occupy. These fragments force the viewer to focus on the materiality of each piece. They appear to have been pulled from an abstract two-dimensional world and into our own- a pale blue spiral, an unpolished shiny loaf, a yellow wire grid, and a couple purpley polygons. They are titled with their class and a brief visual description- Fragment (Gold), Fragment (purple), Fragment (Coil snake).






 Alicia Little, Still Life with Plastic Orange, 2017




The low riders, Still Life with Plastic Orange, Elongated Lump, Limb (with blue powder)Slope, Tip and What is Mine and What is Yours are named as such because each rises to about knee height. The pieces are coated in thick, glossy paint and coupled with another material element, like powdered pigment, stuffed fabric, or a plastic vase and orange. The low riders introduce the context of comparison, using said varying materials to create a dialogue about their postures. For example, What is Mine and What is Yours could readily be described as a “yellow bean snake on a red slide”. A long and malleable yellow form rests down the spine of a sturdy triangular arch – creating a discourse about posture and reliance for support. The conversation about stance and lack of strength continues with Little’s “stand-up” pieces. While not quite chest height, Stand Up (with yellow reflection), and Stand Up (with silicone) loom above the rest of the sculptures. The effects of gravity act on these more so than the others. Stand Up (with yellow reflection) leans against the wall precariously, as if it was propped there momentarily and then forgotten—however, the yellow reflection on the wall reveals the intention of the piece. In Stand Up (with silicone) a pale sheet of silicone hangs completely limp on a metal frame. The silicone starts to move towards something more human, resembling the feel of a skin. To impose a bodily gesture, the posture of both pieces could be described as a slouch.




 Alicia Little, Stand Up (with Yellow Reflection), 2017



 Each piece is texturally rich and Little’s hand is evident as her biggest tool. Little creates shapes like enlarged chunks of Play-Doh, as if they’ve been pinched, rolled and molded by a pair of oversized hands. Little’s sculptures, despite their abstraction and whimsy are referential of something physically relatable. Through their light-hearted and playful expression of shape and color, they describe familiar and common aspects of, as Little states “being a body in the world.”





 Alicia Little, Stand Up, steel, enamel and silicone, 2017