Joan Tanner, The False Spectator, 2016. Metal, wood and wood veneer, barrier netting, clay paper, sandpaper, and Styrofoam, 12 x 30 x 50 ft.

Joan Tanner


Suyama Space

Huddled in impromptu groups, excluding passage in some directions and open to being traversed in others, Joan Tanner’s recent multi- part installation seemed to lumber, stride, and even careen through space. Continuing her distinctive arrays of curiously awkward and yet oddly familiar forms, The False Spectator could be characterized as off-the-cuff, extemporized, or make­shift. Yet Tanner’s installations exude an air of compositional determination even as they appear to head in several different directions simultaneously—a polysemantic strategy that makes seeing them in person a pleasurable experience and retelling them in text a daunting task. The False Spectator consisted of multiple sculptural entities, which expanded to collectively occupy the space as they moved from left to right and front to back. They seemed to be mostly vertical structures, reaching up to the beamed ceiling. There were trough-like erections, leaning columns, wedges, irregular shapes, and ribbed arches made of conduit tubing and covered with sheets of metal, wood, plastic, and other industrial materials. …see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.