Eben Goff: Inclusions

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Eben Goff, "Eternal City," 2015
Steel, 55 1/2 x 55 x 58 inches
© Courtesy the artist and Diane Rosenstein, Los Angeles

The Eternal City, a reference to Rome and the way that it was represented by Piranesi, is the title of a cubic steel sculpture by Eben Goff in his informed and formal show at Diane Rosenstein Gallery through August 15. The cube, nearly five foot square, has been the object of interest by contemporary sculptors for decades but the edges of Goff's pieces are twisted and mangled, as though in a collision with history. The steel has been sandblasted to velvety gray, an attention to surface and materials that permeates much of his work. For Goff, a native of Seattle and a graduate of UCLA's MFA program, is a hands-on sculptor as well as an artist coming to terms with big ideas.

Eben Goff, "Arc," 2010-2015
Alder wood, aluminum, steel, pigment, rubber, 88 1/2 x 41 x 97 inches
© Courtesy the artist and Diane Rosenstein, Los Angeles

Arc (2015), an empty shell of mitered alder wood poised atop a rusted metal trolley was the subject of a performance, documented in 24 color photographs in this show, as it was being moved along the trails of copper mining sites in Butte, Montana. This series, Butte Speculator, refers to land art, to physical labor, to the legacy of changing contemporary sculpture but without overly literal explication. Arc stands on its own, containing its performative history in elegant solitude.

Eben Goff, "Zona," 2015
Alder wood, pigment, 9 x 5 1/4 x 2 inches
© Courtesy the artist and Diane Rosenstein, Los Angeles

A series of wall-mounted reliefs, hand-carved and tinted rectangular slabs of wood are intersected by sharp shiny angles of chrome, establishing an incisive dialogue between the rough, choppy handiwork and gleaming industrial finishes. These are best in my opinion at their simplest, inviting comtemplation of the subtly and attention to small details. A series of chrome poles that Goff stuck in the LA. River, presenting the accumulated detritus on the ends, is less compelling in this context as it reveals less of his very real talent for the combination of seemingly discordant materials. Simplicity serves him well as evidenced in the smallest work in the show, Zona (2015), a carved and pigmented work with geniune impact.