Light and Air

Evelyne Koeppel's new projected installation and photograms call the viewer to a space that's difficult to address with language. Because Koeppel uses light, a medium with no substance, she's able to touch issues that often go ignored, delivering us to spaces of pure sensation that let our bodies enter worlds of immateriality and intangibility. Koeppel goes straight to photography's source in making her work, by exposing negative paper to various light sources in the darkroom. She captures light doing what it does best, as it climbs, bends, shimmers, and flickers -- and, in this most recent show, dapples into gleamy puddles.

Meanwhile, the sheer breadth and whimsy of the Alexander Calder retrospective will lighten the heart of even the most devout curmudgeon. Beautiful and uncomplicated balance is the unifying thread that runs through the vast range of art Calder completed in his lifetime.

Rich color field paintings compete in their simple brilliance with exquisite silver jewelry, the opposing weight and weightlessness of Calder's stabiles, and the complex charm of his crisscrossing mobiles. In Calder's film The Circus we find the artist not only constructing a miniature big top and the characters who inhabit it -- like the lion and the strong man -- but performing the show with unbridled kid abandon. Oh, what a little wind would do to up the ante of this exhibit!

"New Work by Evelyne Koeppel" continues through Nov. 30 at Refusalon, 20 Hawthorne (at Howard), S.F.; call 546-0158. "Alexander Calder: 1898-1976" continues through Dec. 1 at the SFMOMA, 151 Third St. (at Mission); call 357-4000.

-- Marcy Freedman

 
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