Happiest Days of Our Lives

Happiest Days of Our Lives

Weber has been experimenting with this unusual material since 1991, creating complex, monumental shapes that often refer to the figure in a way that she describes as neither entirely representational nor abstract, but something in between—allowing viewers to bring their own associations to the work. Originally trained in ceramics (she studied with Viola Frey at California College of the Arts), she turned to cardboard out of a desire to be able to make pieces that were monumental, yet lightweight and maneuverable.

Whether pieces are freestanding or wall-hung, Weber uses essentially the same method to build each one, beginning with a flat drawn shape. Once cut out, this silhouette becomes the surface on which she builds a cardboard armature-—either on one side, or both—that is then covered with a stapled skin of narrow strips, cut from salvaged boxes. The patterns created by the overlapping strips simultaneously suggest the intricate surface of traditional woven baskets and a minimalist grid pattern, wrapped around the sculpture’s lively shapes.

The cardboard that remains after a shape has been cut and removed from a sheet—what Weber describes as “negative space”—becomes the adjacent profile of the next sculpture she makes. This part of her process is clearly visible when the two are viewed together, their curves and angles fitting each other like a couple in love, or two parts of a puzzle. For Weber, the relationships represented in this way are both literal and metaphorical: an invocation of the connectedness of everything, whether animate or inanimate.

Weber asserts that she is deeply influenced by her environment: whether that is the buildings and sculptures of Rome, where she was a visiting artist at the American Academy in 2018, 2014 and 2012, or the natural architecture of Hawaii, where she had a residency at the Holualoa Foundation for Arts and Culture in 2016. It’s not surprising that the distinctive shapes of the largest multi-part piece in the show, also titled Happiest Days of Our Lives, are inspired in part by the visual landscape of San Pedro, the community located at the southern tip of Los Angeles where Weber now lives and works. Walking around town, she noticed the local graffiti style in murals painted on the sides of bodegas and stores: a graceful, lively combination of pointed Gothic lettering and sinuous curves. Gothic on Grand also reflects her interpretation of this unique local style, in eight free-standing elements covered in jazzy combinations of black and white stripes punctuated with yellow and red. Considered as four interlocking pairs, their matched silhouettes suggest the possibility of psychic as well as physical relationships. The multiple tooth-like protrusions that link the two parts of one of these pairs, Hey You, create a zigzag of negative space between them that suggests the switchbacks of a mountain road.

Happiest Days of Our Lives

  • Dolby Chadwick Gallery's Exhibitions 25
  • Related Exhibitions

Looking for available works from this exhibition? Let us help you!

No artworks for sale are added to this exhibition. If you are interested in seeing available works we
will get in touch with the gallery and get back to you with the available works.