Andrea Carvalho at The Assembly, Hamilton

The Assembly’s architecturally quirky storefront space is a potent site for Hamilton artist Andrea Carvalho’s sculptural interventions in Light From Two Sides. She responds to and redefines the intimate two-storey gallery with minimalist gestures like the elegant steel beam that extends from the wall, lunging outward before bending and descending to a delicately balanced point on the floor. A flying buttress flung into reverse, the form quotes cathedrals that wear their structure on the outside to maintain expansive interiors, but in this case her sculptural line drawing assertively consumes the room and suggests both wall and portal, to be circumnavigated widely or ducked beneath.

Andrea Carvalho, On-site, 2018, ceramic

A burst of burgundy interrupts the exhibition’s muted palette in the staging of eight tapered forms emerging from the wall like the tails of subdued whippets, while a colder aura arises from the mezzanine where Railing’s row of neon lights creates a distinct environment for two sculptures. Within this clinical yet cozy space, Contrapposto’s humanist qualities shine through stair spindles reassembled in faint figuration, flaunting a nude wood grain contrasted by the brown and copper finish on a round-edged plinth.

Triplicate spindles bent to pointed angles from the wall footing the gallery’s stairs could be mistaken for wooden counterparts to Contrapposto, smothered beneath a gloss of white paint. When revealed as slip-cast ceramics glazed to a luminous finish, they take on a fresh fragility that instills caution in one’s footsteps. In subtle citation of the show’s title, these forms pull shadows from the expansive front window and gallery lighting alike, casting a reflexive drawing on the wall that perfectly punctuates an exhibition whose objects nimbly illuminate the spaces in between.

Andrea Carvalho: Light From Two Sides continues until April 28.
The Assembly: 
The gallery is not accessible.

Stephanie Vegh is an artist and writer who has exhibited her work in the UK and Canada, and publishes art writing and criticism both locally and nationally. She maintains an active profile in regional arts advocacy, and currently serves as Manager, Media and Communications at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. She can be followed on Instagram @stephanievegh.