Claire Colette
Mountains, Time, and Other Devices
September 15–October 27, 2018
Open Reception: Saturday, September 15, 6–9 pm

Ochi Projects
2201 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018

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Claire Colette,  Mountains, Time, and Other Devices , at Ochi Projects, Los Angeles. Images Courtesy of Ochi Projects.

Claire Colette, Mountains, Time, and Other Devices, at Ochi Projects, Los Angeles. Images Courtesy of Ochi Projects.

Claire Colette
Mountains, Time, and Other Devices

Reviewed by Katie Kirk

Claire Colette's solo exhibition at Ochi Projects titled, Mountains, Time, and Other Devices, includes ten mid-sized paintings. The work displays an imagined universe filled with mountains, skies, suns, and moons. The paintings are like mood rings—each piece highlights a different season, temperature, or state of being in their subtle shifts of color and line. Organized with a sense of temporality, the exhibition is divided in half; paintings representing nighttime are on one wall with paintings representing daytime on the other. In the center, there is a diptych, Solid Air, that combines both night and day. The colors transition across the room from light blues and violets to dark phthalos and blacks. This layout creates a temporal space the viewer must move through to consider each piece.   

With the exception of the diptych, the paintings all include viewfinders and other mysterious devices for looking. In some instances, these frames enclose pictures. Other times, the space becomes much more convoluted. The mountains flux between foreground and background, interrupting the frames, while other elements appear in different states of eclipse. The viewfinders create a sense that the landscapes are being charted reminiscent of ancient solar mapping or zodiac diagrams. The flatness of the images are also evocative of tarot card drawings. 

Although the subject matter and technique is consistent across the work, each painting differs in the degree to which it creates illusionary space. In Infinite Device, the image appears completely flat. Solid Air, on the other hand, appears to depict a more three-dimensional space. The painting becomes the device for looking, creating a space to be looked into rather than upon. Ultimately, it becomes the portal through which the viewer can more immediately experience the landscape.

Images courtesy of Ochi Projects