Ave Pildas

John David O'Brien, Artillery Magazine, May 6, 2020

The repetitive quality of the overall patterns in the grids in Ave Pildas’ show at Tufenkian Fine Arts create an almost animated effect, a little like standing in one place over a long period of time and blinking slowly. The different figures traverse the space that is framed and look like stop-action films without fostering the sense that there is the continuity of one figure linking them all together. The off-kilter turning of architectural and landscape scenes makes the horizontal and vertical vectors that we normally orient ourselves with turn into a dynamic optical pattern in which it is hard not to feel a slight topsy-turviness.


Then there is the effect of how a viewer’s imagination shrinks down into the wonderful and often black-and-white world looking for telltale details. How that one’s head is turned this way or that, another one’s hand is raised this way or that: a single location is mined for a highly differentiated set of circumstances. The work both elicits a strong sense of fixity and place and an equally strong sense of how these places that are in fact momentarily occupied by people become extraordinarily active. The interactions span different geographical locations and move from ground level to aerial views. At times it appears as though the environment superimposes itself on the figures traversing it, at times the figures almost blot out the background place in front of which they are being frozen.