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    Lori Korsmo: Structrue and Chaos


    Drawing by Lori Korsmo at the Erie Fine Art Museum

    Semi-Permeable detail. Lori Korsmo. 1986. Silver and Gold pencil on Strathmore 500 Charcoal Paper (Black) – 19 5/8 inches x 25 5/8 inches. Photo by Richard Nichol. © Lori Korsmo.

    Lori Korsmo’s austere and rich drawings straddle the divide between structure and chaos, discipline and abandon. Her mostly monochromatic ink or pencil drawings on paper or plate appear static, perhaps even cold but closer observation reveals lively matrices of pattern that subtly invite—sometimes compel the viewer into a meditative thrumming permeating the senses.

    In Semi-permeable, silver lacy cells stitch together small golden orbs of graphite against a dramatic black background creating an undulating rhythmic pattern. A gauzy frame of lines reveals Korsmo’s secret—on top of mathematical underpinnings she renders the drawings meticulously by hand. Small wavers of her disciplined hand build complex narratives.

    In detailed variations, expressed in multiple pieces, Korsmo takes shapes—individual letters in an alphabet—and weaves multifaceted stories that keep the viewer’s eyes and mind moving over inherent possibilities. Korsmo’s Pulse series suggests infinity beyond the edges of the paper, a continual moving away as matter from a mysterious black hole. Balanced rigid structure and eddying waves create central vortices that grow and diminish. Dominate spirals pull one into the blackness beyond.

    One yearns to hold her lines to feel their nubbiness, like hand spun yarn.

    Korsmo’s exhibited drawings along with work by Lisa Austin at the Erie Art Museum in Present from September 27, 2013 to January 4, 2014.

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