When an artist's work is described as "whimsical," we expect to see fairies and elves, not copper figurines. "Whimsical" is how Lauren Adams's body of work, now on display at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, has labeled itself. Adams's exhibition, "Going Up?," which opened Friday night, is comprised of two very different works, "Flying Rings" and "Women Series."
In "Flying Rings," finger rings with feet and propellers are strung along the ceiling on high-tension cables. You wouldn't know right away they were rings, save their description, as they resemble cartoonish robots, zipping through the air. Each ring has a person's name, such as Jeff and Paul, to add to the "youthfulness" of the piece. They appeared to be having a good time, which is nice for copper-cut ring-creatures, but weren't able to spread the love to us. Art does not always have to have deep substance, but when you cannot gather any meaning out of it, it doesn't grab you, and "not grabbing" is bad for an art show.
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The second portion of the show, "Women Series" consisted of historical match strikers made out of copper, steel and silver, among other materials. The match strikers were made to look like high-profile women who have the potential to "start fires," such as Martha Stewart and Sarah Palin. The match strikers were adorned with symbolic objects, relevant to the women being focused on. Dolly Parton (an odd choice for a fire starter) had enamel butterflies; Oprah's match striker had an angelic ring around it. In theory, portraying fiery women germane to current culture is a fascinating concept. However, in execution Adams missed her mark. They, too, lacked a certain substance that one would hope to find. Say something if you want to say it! Unfortunately, the exhibition as a whole did not get us burning for more. "Going Up?" will be on exhibition through January 29, at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main Street. For more information visit crafthouston.org