The Fussy Eye: The Coroplast Metropolis

What is Coroplast®? Corrugated plastic, with a kind of honeycombed lattice between its surfaces, light and cheap—perfect for yard signs or temporary displays. (I think of it as the material used for U.S. Postal bins.) You can cut it with an X-Acto and glue it together, like the balsa wood architects once used for their models. Appropriately, then, Los Angeles artist Deborah Aschheim has sited her pleasingly fanciful little city, called Threshold, in the atrium of an architecture firm. The forms aren’t meant to be entirely novel here. Her edifices gesture toward the Space Needle (Aschheim earned her MFA at the UW, so she knows our landmarks), the Tower of Pisa, and other familiar structures. You’ll notice design echoes from The Jetsons, Paul Thiry’s white trellised arches at the Pacific Science Center (created for our 1962 World’s Fair), Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina City in Chicago, and—to my eye, at least—the old Gallery of Modern Art on New York’s Columbus Circle, that lollipop arcade folly by Edward Durell Stone. Some of the structures hang in the air, like Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back. Little lights glow softly within some of the translucent towers; instead of Coroplast®, you can almost imagine them as candles made of wax—no less temporary, like little urban hives. Suyama Space, 2324 Second Ave., 256-0809, Free. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri. Ends April 12.

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