Catharine Clark Gallery NYC presents Beautiful Void, a solo exhibition of work by Andy Diaz Hope. Beautiful Void consists of a series of mirrored sculptures from the series Centering Devices that negate the viewer from the image of the room they reflect. Suggesting forms both crystalline and geometric, the sculptures rely on traditional stained glass techniques, creating three dimensional mirrored forms in which infinitely reflecting meditations are experienced. The shapes and patterns used take their formal cues from sources such as Islamic tile patterns—sources that are also associated with aspiration. The shape of the work is based on Penrose tiling, derived from a mathematical theory that describes the patterning used in many muquarnas—a decorative architectural device present in ancient mosques. Islamic theology doesn’t allow for representational imagery of humans or nature in mosques—such features are considered to represent false idols and distractions from prayer. Centering Devices in general do not reflect the viewer and thus serve as an exercise in self contemplation and inward reflection.
For Diaz Hope, the work began as an exploration of the infinite, and a contemplation of mortality in the face of endlessness and immortality. The works have evolved into meditations on the ephemerality of the everyday—an idea more accessible and achievable than finding the meaning of life. Though Diaz Hope sees the devices as tongue-in-cheek, it is his hope that, “they jar people’s understanding of reality by taking the person out of the center of the image and replacing him/her with nothing, or everything, depending on where the piece is displayed.” Beautiful Void is Diaz Hope’s unique vision in which self-conscious, comical use of cliche functions as a foil to the evocation of the sublime.