What Have We Done? Sept 10 – Oct 29 2016 Featuring the work of: Charlotte Potter, Tara Tucker, Crystal Liu, Ryan McLennan, Lauren Matsumoto
What Have We Done? is an exhibition featuring the work of five artists from across the country all grappling with the often precarious human versus nature relationship. Ironically, humans aren’t actually depicted in any of the work. It is their meddling interference in the natural order of things that takes center stage.
The anthropomorphic expressions on Tara Tucker’s impeccably rendered animal-plant creatures, floating in space, as if they no longer belong to this earth, seeming to blend and meld together, becoming hybrid forms along with Ryan McLennans’ acrylic paintings on paper bears made of leaves are torn asunder, rendering them far from the imposing beasts we know, signify that clearly these adaptations are not a natural step in the process of evolution.
Utilizing painting, drawing and collage, Lauren Matsumoto offers a stern warning. Human detritus floats amongst the branches, birds and flowers, trash left behind or perhaps becoming a part of the new landscape, flora and fauna.
Crystal Liu’s exquisitely beautiful drawings show deer dripping from clouds that float through the sky while golden trees are bound by sailing ropes, signs that all is not well.
Potter’s glass antlers pose the question rather directly, should we continue on this trajectory, how exactly do we deal with the consequences, when antlers become glass? The antlers also serve as an illustration of the fragility of the state of things.
Stylistically each artist has his or her own technique, but they all share the love of impeccably drawn fine lines and an almost blinding beauty. And, while they may approach the topic from a particular point of view, it is evident that nature, once revered, is in a very precarious situation. Beautiful images make the work accessible; a sort of strange, dark and uncomfortable beauty that leaves the viewer gratifyingly uncomfortable, while the dark underbelly, slowly revealed, is clearly instructive.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Vermont native, Charlotte Potter, has pioneered the field of performance glass in her work as the Glass Studio Manager and Programming Director at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA. An avid educator, Potter is the mentor of the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio Assistantship program and has taught glass and new media courses at Penland School of Crafts and Oxbow. She received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010 and a BFA from Alfred University in 2003.
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Tara Tucker still calls California her home. Having received both a BFA and an MFA from The California College of Arts and Crafts, one might say her real education came from growing up with a taxidermist mother and stepfather who dealt in rare orchids.
Based in San Francisco, Crystal Liu studied photography at the Ontario College of Art & Design and received her MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Brooklyn based but born and raised in Norfolk Virginia, Ryan McLennan received his BFA in 2002 from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.
Lauren Matsumoto studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, received her BFA from Yale University and an MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.