"Beyond Plastic" at LIMN Gallery
Artweek, September 2005 | Go

Excerpt: Christine Duval, director of LIMN Gallery, was intrigued to reveal ways in which plastic has become beautiful or important. Beyond Plastic includes sculptural and wall-mounted works made from synthetic materials: vinyl, rubber, Plexiglas, packing tape, balloons and other substances that fall under the general category. The show is immediately engaging; the works on view clearly possess all the colorful appeal of the sparkly, pristinely packaged consumer goods which they reference. Connie Harris and Julia Latané combine flexible plastic films, borrowed from the the world of interior decorating with fiber and/or wire, glitter, sewing/knitting and other elements to create dynamic and engaging objects... Sprouting nearby, Latané's installation Tube Lichen is formed by an irregularly spaced grouping of truncated cones: dull, beige exteriors reveal slick, yet cushy interiors in sky blue, or a deeper turquoise shade flecked with glitter. Each element, topped by a grouping of furry red orbs, could be hybrids of Star Trek's tribbles and clown-hat pompons. The vinyl, wall-mounted Blue Lichen Panel has the same blue material for a ground, quilted with biomorphic shapes, and is punctuated by vaguely floral yellow extrusions that seem a bit like deflated basketballs. Latane's Blue Pearl Tree Scars hang poised, expectantly, on the wall by the entrance.


Artist comes home to curate
Arizona Daily Wildcat, September 15, 2005 | Go

UA alumna Julia Latane claims that in the past her art has been arranged in exhibits in such a way that she does not even recognize it. So, as the first "curator as artist" in a new exhibition series at Tucson's Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), she intends to let her fellow artists' work speak for itself.


"Beyond Plastic."
Artbeat: SF Weekly, August 31, 2005 | Go

To say something is "plastic" usually means it's fake, but this group show turns fake into a virtue. In almost all of the sculptures and wall pieces, plastic and its cousins (vinyl, latex, nylon, etc.) masquerade as other materials, with mixed results. Among the standouts are Julia Latané's vinyl sculptures of lichen and fungus, whose Dr. Seussian shapes and colors cleverly exploit the contradiction between natural forms and man-made materials. Julie Allen's floppy cakes made from assorted balloons are funny and sad, like a deflated birthday party. And Robert Strati's simple wall pieces (each identically titled Fold) are enigmatic and unexpectedly charming. Constructed of clear packing tape stretched in strips over a curving wire form that literally folds over on itself, the works have a rough, handmade quality that evokes line drawing and belies the sterility of their materials. Less impressive are works that rely too heavily on the seductiveness of plastic itself. Benicia Gantner's pretty vinyl cutouts of trees, flowers, and snowflakes are mounted on lushly colored plexiglass, but they're much too pristine; they never transcend the loveliness of their surfaces. Similarly, Connie Harris' Sugar -- cubes of colored glitter encased in square, clear plastic covers -- comprises enticing objects but feels a little too prefab, like something you might find on sale in the home décor section at Target. Sometimes, it seems, plastic is still just plastic. Through Sept. 10 at Limn Gallery, 292 Townsend (at Fourth Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 977-1300 or visit www.limn.com. (Sharon Mizota) Reviewed Aug. 31.


8 Days a Week | Bay Area Art Listings
San Francisco Bay Guardian, August 27, 2003 | Go

Gallery 555 555 12th St, Oakl; (510) 238-2200. Mon-Fri, 7am-6pm (Third Thurs, 7am-8pm). "Thither." Julia Latané's supersized sculptures seem right at home in the vast glass-and-steel lobby of 555 12th St., an office building across the street from Oakland's Civic Center in which the Oakland Museum of California organizes rotating exhibitions of works by contemporary, and usually local, artists. Latané presents four sculpture installations: Shoot is comprised of 13 eight-foot-tall bamboolike cylinders. Blade consists of 31 gigantic blades of grass, all curving gently in the same direction, as if stirred by a gentle breeze or water current. Hills and Eyelash Cups is also based on natural forms, but not on any one specific type of plant; its biomorphic shapes and vivid colors suggest space creatures or fantastic underwater life. There aren't any museum guards to warn you against getting too close to the art, so you're free to wander through the forest of bamboo and really feel like Alice in Wonderland. Through Oct 1.