Friday, June 18, 2010

Zecca rules at 16

by Kenneth Baker

SF-Chronicle-2010.06Bay Area artist Alex Zecca parallels Teo Gonzalez in having found a procedure he can push to limits that only he may ever visit productively.

Zecca systematically rules on paper thousands of lines in colored inks. As they intersect and add up, they generate effects reminiscent of Op art at its subtlest, and occasionally suggestive of phenomena such as aurora borealis, lens flare or the color blur in a film or video of something streaking past.

Op art ran its course quickly (except in the hands of Bridget Riley) because viewers could sense too easily the involuntary nature of the optical responses it sparked. Zecca has brought his work to a pitch of complexity where we cannot tell how much control he has over what we – or even he – will see in a finished work. In this respect, his art has a deeper affinity with that of Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) than with Op.

Each show of Zecca’s work leaves a viewer wondering “How can he top this?” The latest is no exception.

Alex Zecca: Drawings. Through July 16. Gallery 16,
501 Third St., S.F. (415) 626-7495.