Chris Natrop: Lily Ponder


Los Angeles-based installation artist Chris Natrop transforms the Zillman Gallery into a mesmerizing environment of gleaming free-form cutouts created from mirrored Plexiglas and acid-cut brass. His wall-based Duplex Mirror Rush is composed of multiple elements of intricately shaped mirrors installed in the corner of the gallery. The silhouette shapes, which are derived from the artist’s original large-cut paper compositions, are digitally altered, reformed and laser cut using a computer numerical control (CNC) device. The 90 degree angle of the two walls bisects the image. The bilateral symmetry of the composition reads like an enlarged and luminous Rorschach inkblot of ambiguous and beautiful lace-like patterns.

In much of his work, Natrop uses a utility knife to spontaneously cut away at large sheets of paper to create forms that reference plants and hanging vegetation. His compositions reflect an on-going fascination with the intricacies of natural forms encountered in his direct surroundings. Natrop’s cut paper drawings are often suspended from the ceiling. In this new installation, created specifically for UMMA, colored lights cast a field of subtle hues across the hanging paper forms that reference calla lilies intertwined with vine-like tendrils. In Lily Ponder, Natrop creates a fictionalized perception of place that immerses the viewer in an ethereal landscape of abstract flora juxtaposed with elements of refracted and reflected light.

Haunted by Lilies, 2012 (installation detail)