The long-awaited spring has at last arrived and with it a renewed appreciation of nature. To celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day, Kenise Barnes Fine Art has organized an exhibition of six contemporary artists working with nature as muse.
Christine Aaron’s new series uses interior cuts of fallen trees, called biscuits as her sculptural canvas. Adorning these organic shapes with shards of mirror and faint images from hand-written letters, she continues to explore themes of both the fragility of the human experience and nature. Aaron’s multifaceted art practice includes working in encaustic, printmaking, sculpture and painting, often in concert as so beautifully presented here. The artist shows extensively in the US and has received numerous awards for her work.
Photographer John Arsenault’s turns aims his iPhone camera at the time-honored subject of flowers. Seemingly inexhaustible, the flower as subject has endured for centuries. Arsenault’s series highlights the artist’s fascination with beauty and the intersection of readily available technology with the romance of a Victorian-era rose garden. The artist’s work is represented in permanent collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Loren Eiferman’s wood sculptures fuse natural, cultural symbols and contemporary art in seamless harmony. Working with fallen branches for over twenty-five years, she gathers, cures, sands, cuts, and joins individual parts to create new geometries. Her freestanding and wall sculptures consist of hundreds of pieces of found wood with natural or patinated metal, ash or gold leaf finishes. The mysterious Voynich Manuscript, particularly the “herbal” section, resonates profoundly with Eiferman and inspired the sculptures in this exhibition. Many of these sculptures will be cast into bronze or steel so that they can live in nature, where the artist feels they belong. The artist’s site-specific permanent commission for the Metropolitan Transit Authority was installed at the Pelham train station earlier this year.
Born and raised in New York City, Paul Kruger reclaims industrial driftwood found along the Hudson River or from downed trees. The transformation of detritus to beauty signifies a deeply personal journey for Kruger. To his mind, Kruger is creating a new forest; taking manmade waste and reclaimed wood and turning them back into organic tree-like creations. He planes and sands his surfaces to a silky smooth finish but leaves the forms rough, the juxtaposed surfaces emphasizing origin and the journey. Kruger earned his MFA from the School of Visual Arts. The artist founded the design company Fallen Industries in 2012. His work has been featured in numerous publications including Crain’s Business and NY Magazine.
Shane McAdams’s work reflects the dueling relationships between natural and synthetic forms – those that look like nature versus those that are nature. The artist fuses rough-hewn slabs of trees with highly keyed chromatic artificiality of glossy paint. His wall sculptures underscore the tension between the actual and the artificial and force the viewer to question what one considers to be “artificial” in a world where artifice is increasingly the norm and reality is the exception. The artist’s work has been shown extensively throughout the US and in Hong Kong and London. He lives, works and teaches in Wisconsin.
Channeling geology, Laura Moriarty builds her sculptures much like nature does. The artist’s approach is analogous to earth forces and the process of building her composition in encaustic (pigmented beeswax) result from the same forces that shape and reshape the earth: heating and cooling, time, movement, transmutation, enfolding. She studies the way events and phenomena occur in the geological time scale, and then create micro/macro records in paint imagining what happens below a terrain’s surface. Moriarty is well known for her unique work. The work is in numerous museum and private collections; she is the recipient of two Pollack-Krasner grants, and has earned fellowships at Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Platte Cove Residence, and Frans Masereel Center, to name a few.