[Originally posted October 16th, 2014]
Just in time for fall is Miya Ando’s new exhibit, Kisetsu (Seasons), atSundaram Tagore Gallery. Much like the changing weather outside, this exhibit is centered on ideas of transformation-both physical and metaphorical. Ando’s cultural background plays a critical role in her work. On one side, she comes from a long line of Japanese sword makers and for this series of work she applies elements of the sword making process to her own art making process. Using aluminum as her primary surface material, Ando quite literally transforms sheets of aluminum into abstract paintings. This is a two part process. First, there is the act of turning the metal into a canvas-like surface, which the artist achieves by applying heat, sandpaper, grinders, acid and patinas to the metal. By doing all of this, Ando completely changes the chemistry of the metal. Second, there is the act of applying paint to the metal, which Ando accomplishes in different ways depending on how she wants the paint to appear. All of her works are a mix of glossy and matte finishes but they are all united by being distinctly abstract. At both the conceptual and practical levels, Ando’s work meditates on change and how transformation is never sudden. It takes time for these shifts to occur. And better yet, the serene abstractions that fill up the walls in this exhibit perfectly echo the subtle shift from summer to fall that is currently taking shape outdoors.