Chakaia Booker: The Making of a Public Art Exhibition 

Four stars

While pieces from Chakaia Booker’s citywide installation Mass Transit can be found throughout downtown Indianapolis, smaller pieces at the iMOCA gallery offer a more intimate look at different stages of her work. Maquettes made in preparation of her larger installation offer insight into Booker’s creative process. Small steel structures represent the beginnings of her larger scale pieces — flowing curves and smooth lines make the foundation of her works. This fluidity contrasts sharply with the artist’s choice of materials: tires. Booker is able to transform the gritty and industrial tire tread into beautiful forms and textures, but at the same time the utilitarian nature of the tire is never ignored. In “Just a Minute,” tire treads flow seamlessly from its installation point on the wall. One side of the tread masterfully twists and turns in smooth serpentine forms while the other side of the piece radiates triangular spikes. The result is organized chaos — an abstract dance between soft and rough, tread and art. “On & On” features another tire installation, this time on a pedestal. Again, the tread is masterfully manipulated as it radiates in jazz-like syncopation. One of Booker’s larger works, “Black Hole,” is the ultimate exercise in contradiction. A smooth and serpentine form unfurls across the gallery floor. The subtle form, however, is covered in cuts of tire tread. Hundreds and thousands of tire pieces are meticulously hammered into place on this sprawling installation. These works and more, including a video of the artist discussing her work and inspirations in Indianapolis, are on display through Sept. 6; 63-iMOCA, 

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