French-born American sculptor Alain Kirili is really killing it these days with his wall sculptures. Ascension, a three-paneled dialogue of flat colors and forged metals of differing hues, is given a niche of its own at the 2019 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in Spanish Harlem. In his first wall sculptures Kirili began by taking isolated structural elements in forged metal—polychrome, monochrome or in the natural color of the chosen metal—and wall mounting them so as to articulate the perimeter of a given space, the sculpture emerging into, rather than from, the enclosure. Then, rectangular areas of color, containing or failing to contain these sculptural elements, began to emerge in a way that visually suggests the wall as page for the elaboration of sculptural syntax. His range of vibrant, often surprising color choices are intuited in relation to the sculptural elements assembled as well as the artist’s rapport with the specific sites in which they are to be located. DAVID COHEN
The Invitational is on view through April 7, Thursdays through Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.
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