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Review: Patricia Fernandez's touchingly eloquent 'Record'

June 07, 2012|By Holly Myers
  • Installation view of Patricia Fernandez's "A Record of Succession" at ltd los angeles.
Installation view of Patricia Fernandez's "A Record of Succession"… (Patricia Fernandez and…)

That “A Record of Succession,” Patricia Fernández’s first solo show, is permeated with family history is not explicit in the work itself, but might well be inferred by the intimacy of its materials. Buttons, scraps of fabric, a handkerchief and other domestic odds and ends appear sewn onto dyed linen panels roughly the size of a sheet of paper in the dozen or so wall-mounted works on display at ltd los angeles. (The show is presented in continuum with a similar installation by Fernández in the LA Biennial.)

Accompanying the paintings, arrayed around a low wooden bench at the center of the gallery, is a beautiful collection of hand-carved wooden boxes of the sort you might find on a bureau in a bedroom, each containing a small, obscure though precious-feeling object.

The details are enumerated in a press release. The X pattern found across the boxes and picture frames was a trademark of the Spanish-born artist’s grandfather, a professional wood carver and her teacher in the trade. The buttons relate to a collection that once belonged to her grandmother. The knowledge that this history unfolded against the political backdrop of the Franco dictatorship, which ended five years before Fernández’s birth in 1980, lends the work an air of furtive archivism, suggesting a kind of emotional archaeology.

Even without the back story, however, the arrangements are touchingly eloquent: thoughtful and delicate, filled with a sense of patience and care. 

ltd los angeles, 7561 Sunset Blvd. #103, Los Angeles, (323) 378-6842, through July 7. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.ltdlosangeles.com

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