Monday, September 16, 2013

Exhibit Review: Nature Extracted

"Nature Extracted" The Art of Patterson Clark and Pam Rogers
Barry Gallery, Marymont University, Arlington, VA
September 6-October 17, 2013

     I recently went to see this exhibit, Nature Extracted, on a trip to Northern Virginia.  The exhibit, on display until Oct. 17, particularly interested me due to my strong interest in fiber arts, natural pigments and botanical themes in art, whether figurative or abstract.  Both these DC-area artists use natural materials in their botanical compositions.  For example, the work on the right in the photo below, titled Index 1308g, uses the following botanical materials: pigments from Herdera hibernica, Rosa multiflora, Celastrus orbiculatus, Mahonia baelei, Lonicera maackii, Morus alba, and Acer plantanus on paper made from Brousseonetia payrifera in a frame made from Acer platarus and Morus alba:

     This next work, Ring and Protractor, is made from weed-soot ink on paper made from Morus alba, Allaria petiolata, Celeastrus orbiculatus, and wood from Acer platarus:

     I noted two strong themes that go through Clark's works in this exhibit: the post-industrial landscape and the plants that have arisen there, and almost peasant European or early colonial American depictions of people and their work.  These works are interesting and beautiful in subtle ways and, at times, provocative. Lastly, he also works in wood from weedy trees: this example is called Wineberry and is made from Mahonia bealei and Rubus phoenicolasius pirments on Alianthus altissimia wood:

     Pam Rogers' works are more colorful and more abstract.  She uses enigmatic botanical elements in her work, though they are hard to grasp visually. Here is an example: Book Arts: plant, soil and mineral pigments, graphite and ink:

I would like more detail about her pigments and process, but that is for when I have more time to investigate.

     If you are in the DC area before this show closes, it is worth a visit, in my humble opinion (please excuse my primitive attempts at art criticism!)

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