Wild Fabric

By Mark Jenkins The Washington Post

Amber Robles-Gordon’s show at Pleasant Plains Workshop is called “Wired,” but fabric is the principal ingredient. Working entirely with found objects, the Caribbean-rooted local artist arrays ribbons and scraps on (mostly) wire frameworks. The result is a riot of colors and patterns, evoking the tropics while playing on the contrast between the rigid frames and malleable fabric. In such pieces as “Dynasty,” the tightly clumped tatters suggest both thick vegetation and the rhythms and hues of island life.

Although Robles-Gordon does sometimes bend the found frameworks to achieve the basic contour she wants, a few of the pieces still seem a little haphazard. The most appealing works are the ones built on recognizable shapes, notably “And So It Is.” Here, the colorful remnants hang on a gold-painted bicycle wheel, giving form to the patchwork. The artist has compared this piece to a family crest, but even without the personal connotations, the abundance of tones and textures is pungent.

Jenkins is a freelance writer.

Wired by Amber Robles-Gordon

on view through July 23 at the Pleasant Plains Workshop. 2608 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. pleasantplainsworkshop.blogspot.com.