On Repeat: Emily Joyce Plays with Continuity at Inman Gallery

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Peace signs and Mount Analogue. These two things have little in common, but to Emily Joyce, they serve the same purpose -- a seemingly endless source of inspiration.

In "Some Tree Rings, a Vision, and the Third of May" now on view at Inman Gallery, the Los Angeles artist creates silkscreen prints that explore variations on abstract geometric shapes. The peace sign is one, though, like much of Joyce's influences, that may not be obvious. In the new silkscreen series "Third of May," wedges, arches and pie sections alternate in columns, almost dancing down the paper. The forms are all the same shapes and sizes, but the prints are all different colors, making for a nice optical effect.

Another new silkscreen series from Joyce that explores continuity is "Tree Rings for Judith Pancake (Gold)." In four works, the artist almost attacks the cross-section of a gold and white tree trunk, adding daggers of color and even burning holes, or knots, onto the paper. The starting point for this series is, as the name implies, Judith Pancake, who provided the artwork for René Daumal's influential early 20th century novel, Mount Analogue. Joyce definitely experimented with these flat prints, giving each one its own character despite having the same starting point of concentric circles.

The "vision" of the exhibition title refers to a large print inspired by Piero della Francesca's Vision of Constantine, a largely blue work that plays on the tent in the 15th-century fresco through repeating triangular tent forms. This one is easy to miss -- it's in the gallery's north viewing room -- but worth seeking out.

The references in these works are a tad random and largely obscure, which can cause a bit of a disconnect with the viewer. But even without knowing them, the colors and playful forms of Joyce's prints are enjoyable to behold.

"Emily Joyce: Some Tree Rings, a Vision, and the Third of May" at Inman Gallery, 3901 Main Street, runs now through August 17. For more information, call 713-526-7800 or visit www.inmangallery.com.

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