By Raymundo Muñoz

A tiny strip of colors cuts right through the big field of black and white stripes in artist Clark Richert‘s “One Over One,” and it’s like a bright and perfect note sounding through static. To Richert, this compacted rainbow represents the present, squashed between the past and future. Vast and humbling in its scope, it’s just one of the pieces on display at RULE Gallery for their two-man exhibition “String Theory.”

Opposite the works of Richert are the geometric yarn-and-Velcro creations of New York artist Matthew Larson, a former RMCAD student of Richert. From afar Larson’s pieces resemble fine, if oddly weaved, tapestries marked by an interplay of straight and bent elements, but closer inspection reveals no weft, just warp. How does the artist achieve this trickery? With a little Velcro and a lot of patience. It’s a meticulous process and look that parallels the math and science-inspired works of Richert well.

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Clark Richert’s “One Over One”

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Matthew Larson’s “Vertical Deviations”

Contrasting this sharp aesthetic, however, are the softer details. Take the loose fringe in Larson’s work or how jagged lines contrast with ruler-straight. Such details give his work a warmth and charm in keeping with his fabric medium. Richert achieves a similar effect in “One Over One” thanks to long hand-painted lines that quiver and waver just enough to make the piece glow. His interpretations of scientific principles have a looseness as well–less concerned about technical accuracy, more so with conveying meaning.

While the show’s title references a complicated set of theories that explains how subatomic particles behave and interact via mathematical “string” models, I won’t pretend to know just how it all relates. One often-used analogy, though, likens them to guitar strings that–fretted, struck, or plucked–produce different notes, the “melodies” of which create literally everything in the physical universe. Whatever mass assemblage of string interactions–and given Larson’s contributions, there are plenty–came about to bring these two artists together, it was a sweet and harmonious one.

Photos are from a Feb. 12 preview. “String Theory” runs through March 21. For more information and to purchase works, visit rulegallery.com.

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Artists Clark Richert and Matthew Larson

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Clark Richert’s “Z Wave” (Detail)

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Works by Matthew Larson

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Clark Richert

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Clark Richert’s “One Over One” (Detail)

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Matthew Larson’s “Linear Drift” (Detail)

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Matthew Larson’s “Bent” (sold)

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Clark Richert’s “Z Wave”