Academically trained as a painter, Vasa Mihich originally taught theories of color as a senior Professor of Design at the University of California, Los Angeles. The octogenarian artist has been creating his striking transparent plastics since the late 1960’s in his Los Angeles studio and continues to this day to be a forward-thinking innovator.
Mihich continues to explore the possibilities and development of these cast acrylic sculptures and their accompanying medium. Henry Seldis, the former art critic for the Los Angeles Times, refers to Mihich as “the most sensuous and sensational colorist of the Southern California artists working in plastic.”
Four Columns #2896 is a particulary nice example of Mihich’s Tower series of columns. His choice of pastel colors in this piece is joyous and light-hearted in nature. These works highlight the interdependence and interaction of color with such other aesthetic aspects as form, quantity, and placement. Academic theories of color and space influenced Mihich’s creation of acrylic sculptures, which both reflect and refract the light. To create his minimalist sculptures, the artist first casts acrylic in large forms of varying thicknesses, often interleaved with layers of clear acrylic and transparent polychromed sheets. He then cuts them into the desired dimensions. Laminations are made with a polymerized adhesive known as “Weld-On 40”. This “glue-like adhesive” must be quickly applied –sometimes in less than 20 minutes. Then the parts are “machined” and polished to a smooth finish. As Mihich explains:
“Suspending transparent layers of color in open space suited me, though it created complex technical tasks. I resigned myself to time-consuming issues such as laminating the plastic layers, machining, and polishing, and was fulfilled by the resulting work. Initially, I had planned to dedicate three to four years to working with acrylic, but forty years later, I am still working in this medium.”
Vasa Studio, Los Angeles to
Private collection, 1988
Hindman Auction, 9 December 2020, lot #5