EMILY PACKER / THE EAGLE
“Bridging the Light,” a new creation exhibited at the Corcoran Art Gallery from Sept. 5 to Sept. 9, complemented the pieces in Richard Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park Series” skillfully and playfully.
Artist Annie Albagli was inspired by Diebenkorn’s series and the area in which they were conceived, the San Francisco Bay Area, where the light filtered through thoughts as often as talent.
Using geometry and paint, Albagli was able to turn simple transparencies into a welcoming view for anyone entering the Corcoran as it hung high over the opening window, giving each new visitor something different to perceive as the light altered throughout the day. From sunrise to sunset, the artwork filtered through the space in the bridge and seized every eye’s attention.
Albagli’s inspiration, Diebenkorn, a well-known 20th century American painter, is being exhibited in the Corcoran Art Gallery for his “Ocean Park Series.” His work is associated with the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s for its abstract expressionism. Its architectonic geometries are articulated by black and colored lines, giving the viewer a feeling of calm and organization.
Albagli’s “Bridging the Light” also designates a feeling of calm, then at the same time the colorful triangles and rectangles rearranged and overlapped give a vibrant beat as if the light is purposely pushing itself into its beauty. Screen-printed on vellum, a type of dried and stretched mammal skin, the display hangs what looks to be an estimation of fifteen feet high. Bright purples, yellows, oranges and blues combine together to reflect the colors of the Bay Area at almost 45 degree angles. Stimulated also by the area in which the artist attended school as well as where Diebenkorn himself was raised, the piece is meant to capture the feeling of being surrounded by the ocean colors and atmosphere.
The artist herself is as vibrant and bright as the pieces she has created. She admitted that the most difficult part of her work, maybe even more difficult than cutting out the shapes themselves, was actually getting the artwork to fit and stay in the area it was designated to.
Hanging loosely above the doorway, humidity and the shaking of the outside doors would affect the artwork floating overhead in a damaging way. Climbing the many feet to the top of the sills, Albagli had to try and fit this type of expression — her work — safely in the space over the bridge where people were to enter the building, at the same time ensuring its safekeeping.
“Bridging the Light” did exactly as was anticipated. Not only did it evolve light into color to create something more pleasing to the eye than usual, it bridged a new perspective on the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the “Ocean Park Series.” Light has never shone so spectacularly than through this display.