Thinking along the line of blogging it pointed towards the issue of a very contemporary comparison between architectural structures and gesturing surfaces – re-evoked through the earlier published article on the artist Lombardi (villagevoive 12/2003), which interestingly enough seemed to reflect the inherent ambivalence and swarming connectivity as well within his drawings as equally in this review on the exhibition.
Lombardi’s drawings lack the specificity and attention to pattern needed to be useful as true investigative tools. On the contrary, it is in their very aimlessness, their sprawling attention to surface incident, that the works’ purpose unfolds. In a recent article published by Clear Cut Press (clearcutpress.com), the Office for Soft Architecture, based in Vancouver, explores the Pacific Northwest’s invasive alien plant species the Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) as a figure by which to understand the attraction of surface as opposed to deep structure. “The limitless modification of the skin is different from modernization,” they write. “[S]urface morphologies, as Rubus shows, include decay, blanketing and smothering, dissolution and penetration, and pendulous swagging and draping as well as proliferative growth, all in contexts of environmental disturbance and contingency rather than fantasized balance.”
Only connect: a detail from one of Lombardi’s creations
They go on to say, apropos of architecture itself, “Superficies, whether woven, pigmented, glazed, plastered, or carved, receive and are formed from contingent gesture. Skins express gorgeous corporeal transience. Ornament is the decoration of mortality.” In Mark Lombardi’s work we have just such an expression of the smothering abundance of ornamental information.