When: July 8-Aug. 16 2015
Artist Lana Williams’ current solo show at Interface Gallery (486 49th St., Oakland), entitled no uniform, is inspired by “no uniform Fridays” at the school she attended during her youth, when she would negotiate the opposing desires to both stick out and fit in. More abstractly, that translates to an interest in the ways in which certain materials and aesthetics connote value. In no uniform, Williams explores that concept through abstract painting, testing to what extent she’s able to dismantle traditional systems of value through aesthetic argument. Williams also expands on her painting practice with sculptural installations. By using shiny metal bars to create streaks across a wall that she has thinly painted pink, placing a bench-like sculpture in front of it, and hanging painted silk scarves throughout, Williams turns the entire gallery into an immersive analogy for her paintings. The palette and style are similar to her work on canvas, but the shiny materials contribute a new dimension that begins the conversation about value. With an exciting use of gallery space, no uniform constitutes an invite into a warped reality that is worth accepting.