No artist has me reaching for diagrams like Mia Feuer. Taking her cues from the physical relics of industry, the installation artist erects room-consuming sculptures made from painted foam to evoke urban catastrophe. For “Stress Cone,” the latest of a recent series of Washington shows by the Canadian-born artist — and her first solo exhibit with Conner Contemporary — Feuer gestures toward subtlety.
Terms such as fused cutouts and distribution transformers describe the unexamined parts of a common telephone pole — and the building blocks of Feuer’s work. Her installations are part-Hollywood blockbuster, part-Banks Violette macho sculpture, featuring twisted eyebeams summoned to the ceiling by an unseen magnetism.
With shows at Transformer, Arlington Arts Center and now Conner, Feuer has established a signature style with her restricted palette of emergency-responder blue and orange.
But in “Stress Cone,” she uses these colors sparingly to highlight the otherwise gunmetal black and gray masses of twisted metal.
Contributing to the sense of summer action thriller, Feuer has infected these wrecks with features that appear to be maggots. (Or, perhaps, animated fused cutouts.)
Spectacle is a big part of her work: If she had the budget and the space, she’d no doubt build a city’s worth of wrecked infrastructure. But here, her patient use of color — applied here and there, to highlight and complement the composition — is the big draw.
Capps is a freelance writer.
is on view through April 30 at
Conner Contemporary Art.
1358 Florida Ave. NE.
202-588 - 8750.