For "Folded Space," at Gallery 13, artist Bryant Locher draws from a rather bizarre moment in history when art and military strategy joined forces. Beginning in World War I and continuing through World War II, British and American ships would sometimes be painted with optical-illusion designs aimed at confusing the enemy. In theory, the enemies targeting these ships (of various kinds and shapes) would be unable to determine how far away they were or which piece of the ship they were looking at. The concept, called "dazzle camaflouge," didn't work very well, but the technique lived on in the art world, inspiring artists such as Pablo Picasso.
At times, these paintings can be confusing in that there's just so much going on that it gets muddy. The most successful pieces are the simplest ones: a silvery geometric creature-type thing slithering amidst a sea of turquoise and purple lines, with a few dabs of checkered orange and yellow to confuse things. It's the more simple works that give just confusion to let you stay with the piece to try to figure it out -- even though that is ultimately impossible.
IF YOU GO:
Through July 26
811 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis
Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
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