EXCERPTS FROM THE NATURAL WORLD
June 3-July 28, 2016
Chandra Cerrito Contemporary is pleased to present Excerpts from the Natural World, featuring artists who use nature in imaginative ways as source material. Mari Andrews and Esther Traugot combine natural and fabricated objects to create delicate sculptures and installations, and Sarah Hinckley combines images from landscapes to create meditative drawings and paintings. The exhibition will be on view beginning June 3 through July 28, 2016.
Mari Andrews gathers and interweaves elements from both the natural and manmade worlds to skillfully create three-dimensional pieces that focus on the theme of interconnectedness. In the installation titled The Very Small Array, a galactic network of wires is punctuated by several "dishes" made of lead, each holding a natural object such as a stone or pod. Andrews took inspiration for the piece from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, also known as VLA located in New Mexico. VLA is the most advanced radio telescope array on earth (measuring 25 meters in diameter), designed to listen for radio waves from outer space. Andrews's sculptural arrangement resembles the receivers in VLA's giant telescopes, absorbing information like a network of neurons in the human brain, and symbolically reaching outward to a vast scale much like man's need to connect to auniversal source of existence.
Also included in the exhibition is Andrews's lead "paintings," symbolizing the artist's personal alphabet of images which she made using materials from the earth, such as coal dust, rust, soil, pigments, silver, gold and copper. The artist has been sourcing found objects for nearly thirty years, breathing new life into often overlooked and humble materials.
Sarah Hinckley grew up surrounded by the marsh, water, beach and sky of Cape Cod and now lives amid the metropolitan sights of New York City. The expansive scenery from both the natural and urban landscapes inspire shapes, colors and the composition in Hinckley's paintings and drawings.
The artist begins with visual fragments of her surroundings, often taking sections of botanical forms and using specific hues found in sunsets, concrete sidewalks, fashions worn by people on the street, etc. She then combines various shapes and colors to create a single, layered image.
In some pieces, the artist stacks bold, graphic forms above minimal fields of muted colors, appearing as individual vignettes from a larger landscape. Other pieces resemble an arrangement much like that from a game of Exquisite Corpse. Played by many Surrealist artists, the game consists of different players contributing to a sequence of images that result in a single drawing. Hinckley's segmented scenes fall into a random but harmonious whole.
Hinckley takes artistic inspiration from the works of Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Claude Monet's late paintings, and from 1960's formalist color field painting.
With work comprised of found objects from insects to pods, Esther Traugot presents a collection of small sculptures arranged on the wall like scientific specimens, along with a carefully displayed, expansive installation.
Traugot uses seemingly incongruent materials as she "gilds" natural objects with manufactured thread which she has hand-dyed and then crocheted. The golden fiber is wrapped very snugly around portions of the object, giving the appearance that it is an integral and naturally occurring part of the organic form.
The artist's laborious act of crocheting is one of both protection and veneration, a way of preserving the objects once alive, beyond the evolutionary stage when seeds have fallen, and insects become extinct. The resulting work simultaneously evokes a sense of fragility, vulnerability and comfort.
Included in the exhibition is a work that incorporates honeybees, which the artist collected from local hives. The work calls attention to the phenomenon of colonies of bees dying off at an alarming rate, potentially disrupting the earth's ecosystem. It encourages a dialogue not only about the natural world and its survival, but also more pointedly, about man's instinctual and competing tendencies to both nurture and control nature.
About the Artists
Mari Andrews earned her MFA at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally, including at the Tucson Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Kala Institute in Berkeley, de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara, and San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. She has also shown her work in Japan, Israel, and England. Andrews is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. The San Francisco Bay Area-based artist has participated in artist residencies at Lucid Art Foundation and Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and she was recently selected for the 2015-16 Creative Ecology Art & Science Residency at the Palo Alto Art Center.
Sarah Hinckley was born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and now lives and works in New York City. She has exhibited her work predominately throughout the East Coast, and in San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Her paintings are included in numerous corporate and private collections. Hinckley earned an MFA from Columbia University in New York, and has studied at California College of Arts & Crafts, Oakland; Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts; and School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Esther Traugot lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her BFA in painting from UC Berkeley and her MFA in studio art at Mills College in Oakland. Traugot has exhibited her work throughout California, and in New York and Pennsylvania, including Sonoma Valley Museum of Art; Palo Alto Art Center; Berkeley Art Center; Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek; Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University, Lewisberg, PA; and Begovich Gallery, Cal State University, Fullerton.