In the words of Wassily Kandinsky, “If the artist has outer and inner eyes for nature, nature rewards him by giving him inspiration.” The exhibition, Terra Cognita takes a look at artists whose work reflects the natural world.
Whether it is in the celebration of the landscape as in the works of Kristen Garneau and Alexander Rohrig or in the glorious abstracted references to nature in Frances McCormack’s Hunting Grounds, Charles Eckart’s Spring or Carole Pierce’s Luminous Tree, nature is at the heart of all these talented artists’ work. In pieces like Jane Rosen’s exquisitely blown glass Big Cash Wall Bird, the intention is to explore nature at its very essence in capturing the elegance and nobility of California’s birds of prey. The fascinating floor installation by Gretchen Jane Mentzer conjures associations with river beds and the flotsam and jetsam left on the shore by receding waves and the carborundum prints on flowing silk by Nora Pauwels replicate the subtle movement and variety of leaves from trees that played a role in her life.
Works on clayboard by Helen Stanley reveal a lifetime of drawing the delicate beauty and whirling patterns of birds and nests she has observed in the natural world. Kay Bradner’s mixture of crisply drawn lines and colorful abstraction give harmony to her realizations of magnolia and oak trees. Finally, we have the masterful clay Lobo (wolf) of Cristina Córdova, the bone white skull imprinted with the markings of time while the horticultural pod form of Lisa Kokin’s Beginnings and Endings returns the pages of pulp cowboy novels to their origins as wood and plant fiber.