Artist Ann Weber’s exhibit “Balancing Acts” is really not worth seeing.
Although the high ceilings and vast space compliments the nine large-scale cardboard sculptures, it’s awkward for any reviewer to see a show located in a lobby, especially Gallery 555 in downtown Oakland.
Weber’s sculptures tower around the lobby. Her four tallest sculptures are scattered imposingly around the lobby, towering over the entrance and flanking the elevators.
Her most interesting piece is titled “Almost 16,” a piece presumably named for its height, and reminiscent of the towers of the Taj Mahal.
Weber’s sculptures are made of cardboard, staples, steel, polyurethane, with odd bits of fiberglass and wood.
Weber uses cardboard to explore the infinite possibilities of everyday materials.
With each sculpture, she lays strips of cardboard on top of each other and assembles them with her staple gun. Sometimes she weaves the strips together creating a checkerboard look. Her interest in cardboard is interesting, but doesn’t engage her audience for further analysis.
Weber’s literature notes that “Balancing Acts” symbolizes how her art “examines the boundaries of life’s situations and the balancing acts that define our lives.”
The exhibit defies gravity, with sculptures as large as possible, just at the point of collapse.
Although Weber’s intentions are respectable, besides its height and occasional interlinking of cardboard strips, there’s nothing that is truly captivating about her show.
Weber received her masters degree from California College of Arts and Crafts, where she studied under renowned artists Viola Frey and Art Nelson.
If you’re in between meetings, or returning from a lunch break, this exhibit is worth a look before getting back to work.