Steven and William Ladd
Curated by John Silvis
Chapel will transform the Ahmanson Collection gallery into a space for reflection with a free standing confessional, a glass wall tapestry, glass and metal landscapes, as well as pen and ink drawings. The imagery in Chapel is inspired by the medieval gothic glass windows of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, and the vivid memories of the Ladd brothers’ own experiences entering confessionals in their childhood church. The exhibition creates a unique, imaginative space for the viewer to reflect, relax, or contemplate the divine.
The exhibition is punctuated by three significant objects that set the context for experiencing the works as a whole. Upon entering the gallery we encounter Holy Spirit, a brilliant series of six woven glass bead panels on tracks, radiating in orange, red and black. The sensuous glass beaded panels can be presented as a division in space or as a wall tapestry, both forms delivering a rich aesthetic and transcendent visual experience. The two hundred hours it takes to weave each panel on a hand built loom underscores the dedication they invest in their work.
Faith is exhibited on a platform in the center of the first gallery. The fluid, bright orange glass flames that emerge out of a metallic bed of pinned black glass beads, bronze ants and metal fittings, are immediately captivating. On the other half of the thirty-six box grid sculpture, there is a dazzling forest of several hundred black beaded trees that are simultaneously magical and foreboding.
Confessional is a freestanding structure placed at the end of the second gallery. The viewer is invited to enter into the straightforward construction of twenty-two individual components, which are made of wood, metal, thread, trimmings and glass. The doors are inlaid with glass bead panels reminiscent of liturgical stained glass. On the inside guests discover a world of striped textile panels created with stretched trimmings, a chandelier and a chair.