‘Flat Rock’ at MOCA anything but flat art

Arts / Article

Overview of Overton’s “Flat Rock.” Photo by Daniel Portnoy

The main show at MOCA is the huge solo exhibit from Wangechi Mutu, and more on that amazing survey of works in a separate review. But tucked into the back of the museum is another gem, “Flat Rock” from Brooklyn-based Virginia Overton.

When you leave the gray, wool-covered walls of the front space, you encounter a long, slanted wall made from wooden planks, through which you can glimpse the minimalist, site-specific installation of found objects behind it – almost like a sneak peek of a present. Round the corner and several sculptures scattered around the space are revealed. Another slanted wooden wall encases the room, creating a unique environment. The architecture of the space is in fact a major part of the entire installation.

Sculpture of Overton; photo by Daniel Portnoy

Sculpture of Overton. Photo by Daniel Portnoy

Some of the sculptures are suspended, like the fan dangling from the metal rafters and the simple black-and-yellow triangle. Others, such as the large black truck tire, are propped up on the floor. As the notes from the MOCA show describe it, “She transforms and repurposes these into sculptures and site-specific installations that highlight distinct physical properties, such as weight, gravity, tension and suspension.” Those physical properties really do create a physical sensation. The works are a combination of sculpture made in her studio, and found objects she has discovered in the neighborhood.

This is the first solo museum show for Overton, and it’s a nice complement to the main Mutu exhibit. It does feel like a contemplative hideaway, with its simple elements combining to create a more complex structure and environment than a first glance may suggest.

Virginia Overton’s “Flat Rock” runs through July 8 at MOCA North Miami, 770 N.E. 125th St., North Miami; www.mocanomi.org.