• Ryan Molenkamp
Last night at Vermillion was a quiet opening (the loud opening is tomorrow night) of We Built This to Leave, a show of crawling, breathing, shadow-casting structures—a show that reveals the built environment to be the network of obsessive, pumping bodies it is—by Ryan Molenkamp, Sharon Arnold, and Trevor Johnson.

Each artist is a resonator for the others. Molenkamp's paintings look like they reveal scaffoldings of unseen sedimentary deposits all around us, whole cities whose scale is always shifting. Johnson's carved Styrofoam universes jutting out from the wall are alternative maps to the same sort of indeterminate locations. It is not clear where they've been cut and where they've been torn, and the odd breaks of the surfaces resemble ice floes. They cast dark, jagged shadows.

  • Ryan Molenkamp

Meanwhile, Arnold's delicate works are bright and light, at risk of floating off if they weren't pinned to the wall and grounded by their own heartbeats. Their rhythms are created by repetitive motions: the sewing of soft, hairy yarns in rows on hundreds of feet of fragile cash-register paper, hung in half-unspooled rolls on the wall; the cutting away of dozens of strips of paper to reveal, curtain-like or hair-like, the wall beneath the paper.

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It is a tight, teeming universe in there. These are images shot during the installation. But as (almost) always, you have to see it to get it.

  • Ryan Molenkamp