Wild & Free: A Group Exhibition

Event  |  Reviews  |  Comments
Buy American, 2011 Silkscreen On Cut Paper, Presented On Peg Board
Long Butte, 2011 Graphite Powder And Wax, Tracing Paper
Wild & Free: A Group Exhibition
Curated by: Suzanne L'Heureux

486 49th Street
94609 Oakland

October 5th, 2012 - October 28th, 2012
Opening: October 5th, 2012 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Other (outside areas listed)
415 990-8028
Friday - Sunday, 11-4 pm
mixed-media, installation, video-art, performance, conceptual, landscape, modern, sculpture


Inspired by Gary Snyder's The Etiquette of Freedom, this exhibition explores the way western culture typically thinks about and relates to wildness. In so doing, it also attempts to visualize an alternative more holistic relationship to the environment, which, for Snyder, is the path to true freedom. Included works interrogate mythic constructs of sublime and abundant nature and critique how the landscape has been packaged and sold under the auspices of the American Dream. They also draw from the good humor, simplicity, and gratitude that Snyder finds in nature and believes "brings us close to the actually existing world and its wholeness."

Works by Mary Ann Kluth and Danielle Schlunegger draw on the interpretive lens of Romantic landscape painting, 18th and 19th century naturalist writings, and the museum experience, by interrogating the mythic narratives produced by such sources. Kluth's large ink-jet prints, based on the writings of botanist William H. Brewer and the exultant imagery encountered in Romantic Landscape painting, incorporate digital noise and fantastical digital elements that disrupt the narrative of sublime and abundant nature. Schlunegger introduces a fictional character - the naturalist, Marcus Kelli - as if he were a real, historic figure by borrowing the language and tropes of museum display. In Clare Szydlowski's Buy American series, we see the way mythic imagery of the abundant landscape has been co-opted, packaged and sold under the auspices of the American dream.

Videos from Karl Cronin's Somatic Natural History Archive record the artist echoing the movement of plants and trees whose wisdom he wants to record before it is lost. Cronin has made hundreds of such videos, archiving, honoring and responding to the environment, in search of a deeper appreciation and sense of interconnectedness.

Afton Love's large-scale drawing, Long Butte, with its subtle and tactile natural forms, evokes both absence and thunderous presence. The apparent fragility of her medium (tracing paper dipped in wax), lends her work a quiet and meditative space, while also addressing questions concerning preservation and the disappearance of our natural world.

Finally, Nathaniel Parsons presents a combination of paintings and carvings and a picnic table that people are invited to gather around and even carve. The combined imagery and objects playfully explore the way we access nature, celebrating the last remaining wild places, while inviting us to think critically about the consequences of being a visitor.

**Opening reception coincides with the Temescal Neighborhood Fall Art Hop, and there will be free live music as well as burgers and beer by Pizzaiolo in the alley where Interface Gallery is located!