Walking the Line: Daniela Rivera at LaMontagne

Installation view, Daniela Rivera: Growth, LaMontagne Gallery, Boston

Tucked away in a remote, industrial corner of Southie, a stone's throw from the Boston harbor, is South Boston's LaMontagne Gallery and, housed within it, is GrowthDaniela Rivera's newest installation. Included as a finalist in the 2010 James and Audrey Foster Prize show at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston last year, and featured recently as a Noteworthy artist in edition #92 of New American Paintings, Rivera's work for LaMontagne is not only a response to Richard Long's 1967 work A Line Made by Walking, but also a "recognition of the presence of incompletion" in her own work.

Rivera's work often changes the setting within which it is installed, pouring off the wall and onto the floor where viewers must walk around it, and this installation is no different. The installation of her painted panels at LaMontagne, which effectively turn the simple South Boston space into a site-specific landscape, is only half of the work. The presence, and participation, of viewers is inherent to the work itself, with people literally filling in the gaps on the floor by walking through the installation. A Line Made by Walking is, after all, based in the performative action of walking, and Growth cleverly recreates — in a very different context — the original actions that informed Long's work to begin with.

More than just a thoughtful, coy attempt at audience participation and conceptual approach, Growth occupies a necessary place in the current moment in contemporary painting, where artists continue to walk the line between painting and sculptural and installation forms, and when the traditional spatial and material limitations set forth by the medium are abandoned in favor of better, and stronger, real estate. More pics after the jump!

Editor-at-Large, Evan J. Garza

Daniela Rivera: Growth is on view at LaMontagne Gallery, Boston, through May 28. 


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