Volcano meets honey
BY CATHERINE WAGLEY
Longtime L.A. artist Lita Albuquerque’s new show at Kohn Gallery is simple and regal. Her “Embodiment” paintings hang inside, each with a shimmering gold, gridded, indented circle at its center. The pulsating purples, blues and reds that surround the gold circles are pigments Albuquerque made herself, using lake root and a mineral from Mt. Vesuvius. The paintings look like courtly astrological tools, objects a medieval astrologer with a flair for good design might use to explain planetary rhythms. Outside she’s installed three vitrines. In one, a salt crystal sits on dirt. In another, a chunk of the volcanic glass obsidian protrudes from a thick pool of honey. The scene is pristine inside the glass, but if the glass were to shatter, the black stone and honey would leave a sticky mess.