Claude Zervas

The County
July 7 – August 20, 2005

In this exhibition Claude Zervas continues to investigate aspects of the northwest landscape through video, digital photography and electronic sculpture. For Zervas, landscape is a complex dialogue between nature and culture. It becomes the locus for all supporting human activity. Zervas’ work subtly examines the geography of Western Washington to create a visual framework for who we are and the history and values of the place we inhabit.

By employing elements of technology, the artist seeks to demonstrate its complicity in abstracting reality. Zervas continues his use of thin fluorescent lights, wire and transformers, to construct sculptures. For “Nooksack,” Zervas has fabricated his largest sculpture to date. Based on the geography of the Nooksack River, the artist has used thirty-two 9″ fluorescent bulbs and hundreds of feet of cascading white wire to create a luminous work that floats above the floor. The lights trace the flow of the river as it winds itself toward the Puget Sound. The gestures of the wires connecting the lights act as a three-dimensional drawing mechanically creating its own topology. In another work titled “La Bûche,” a six-foot slice of a tree is punctuated with pulsating LEDs placed in knotholes. This sculpture floats off the wall and emits a gentle green glow from behind it. Zervas’ dissection of the landscape is as varied and complex as the original landscapes themselves. His working landscapes are shaped from the finite wilderness. His landscapes spring from a culture of analysis, whether it is economic efficiencies, scientific evaluations or the drama of reality.

A video projection will accompany the light pieces. Zervas has developed a computer program that homogenizes the color of the adjoining pixels. Through digital means a forested landscape is transformed into an abstracted computer generated reality and back again. The manipulative power of technology is also explored with unique digital prints titled “Forest” and Veneer.” The former is a luscious verdant Northwest landscape and the latter is a beautiful rectangular segment of a piece of wood. The reality of each image comes into question.

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