Mark Klett: Border Markers

Mark Klett: Border Markers


Exhibition Dates
September 10 – October 29, 2016

Opening Reception with Mark Klett
Saturday, September 17, 2016
7:00 – 9:00pm

The photographs of Mark Klett are consummate depictions of the untamable, immeasurable Western horizon as it intersects with our human experience of light, landscapes, and time.  For nearly four decades Klett has documented the demanding environments and idiosyncrasies of life in the Southwest.

In his latest exhibition at Lisa Sette Gallery, Klett showcases his mastery of the medium in his new color “Saguaros” imagery, a series related to his “Desert Citizen” black and white photographs originally conceived as saguaro portraits.

Although the saguaro is seen as an emblem for the Southwest, it is truly a unique species confined to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Sonora, Mexico, and part of California.  The hardy saguaro soaks up water and stores it to consume slowly, especially in times of drought – with a sense of survival and human-like ingenuity engrained within its spines.

Klett says, “The saguaro cactus is the icon of the Sonoran Desert…Individual cactus may grow as tall as nearly 40 feet and live over 200 years. For centuries desert people have considered saguaros to be the souls of lost ancestors. Their longevity marks time on a larger than human scale.”

Also featured in the exhibition will be a spectacular 30-foot wall expanse of hand-made “artifacts” by the artist.  Each piece is a physical representation of a specific desert camping trip, used to predict light, mark time, and commemorate human experience:

“These sticks are used in the “Sunrise Stick Game.” I often play this game with traveling companions while on camping trips throughout the West. The game was invented as a way to settle campfire arguments about where the sun would rise in the morning (a subject of interest to landscape photographers). At night a circle about six feet in diameter is scraped into the ground and a stick is placed in the center.  Players then put markers onto the circle in the exact spot they think the sun will cast the first shadow of the stick in the morning.”

Klett began making these sticks in the late 1990s and has made them on almost every trip to the present. The early sticks used in the game were discarded. But over time he began to carve them by the light of the campfire and adorn them with objects found during the day. Each stick represents a unique location and experience. Almost all the sticks make some kind of reference to the history of the land visited and the stories of the journey.

Klett has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Buhl Foundation, and the Japan/US Friendship Commission. His work has been exhibited and published in the United States and internationally for over thirty-five years, and his work is held in over eighty museum collections worldwide such as the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; the International Center of Photography, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

He is the author/co-author of fifteen books including Camino del Diablo (Radius Books 2016), Reconstructing the View: the Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe (University of California Press 2012), The Half Life of History, and Saguaros (Radius Press 2011 and 2007), After the Ruins (University of California Press 2006), Yosemite in Time (Trinity University Press, 2005), Third Views, Second Sights (Museum of New Mexico Press 2004), Revealing Territory (University of New Mexico Press, 1990), and Second View, the Rephotographic Survey Project (University of New Mexico Press, 1984). Klett lives in Tempe, Arizona where he is Regents’ Professor of Art at Arizona State University.




Exhibitions


Forbidden Futures

Forbidden Futures



Claudio Dicochea

Exhibition
July 5 – September 3, 2016

Opening reception
Saturday, July 9, 2016
7:00 – 9:00pm

Flourishing in the desert for over three decades, Lisa Sette Gallery represents the works of a diverse and expansive range of artists whose investigations in some way touch on the realities of the urban Sonoran desert. The experience of living at a cultural and geographical intersection is reflected in works from around the globe that are both conceptually fertile and thoughtfully crafted. This summer’s solo exhibit of the electrifying, philosophically-charged paintings of Claudio Dicochea: Forbidden Futures exemplifies the gallery’s intrepid commitment to challenging, compelling, and culturally pertinent artwork.

As a child in the border town of San Luis Río Colorado in Sonora, Mexico, Claudio Dicochea was fascinated by the comic books on sale at the local grocery, bound within a pulpy color cover and containing a “wonderful, crinkly sepia” collection of interior pages. A profound sensual appreciation for the imagery and philosophical appeal of popular culture is tangible in Dicochea’s work today–rollicking acrylic paintings that are influenced, and sometimes inspired, by science fiction, comic books, horror films, and popular music.

While Dicochea’s startling and irresistably compelling works draw viewers into a riot of recognizable images culled from the top-grossing, top-40 hits of the recent past, these paintings are compositionally structured upon the disturbing history of Colonial appropriation.  At the outset of his career, Dicochea encountered 18th century ColonialCasta paintings—faux-scientific ethnographic charts illustrating the results of genetic intermingling between the native people of the Americas and European settlers—and the imagery encapsulated his sense of the profound aesthetic implications of intermixing human icons and cultural symbols. In many of Dicochea’s works, the painter joins together hybrid families of various “casts,” existing in a protean sea of class signifiers and pop imagery.

“Each painting takes an original casta as a template to be distorted, in which original characters are replaced by archetypes from popular media, comics, and world history…these works lift and sample from original paintings in order to understand the processes and effects of re-appropriation. In this manner, we can better understand how such re-appropriation functions as both language and method.” -Claudio Dicochea

In the process of creating these painterly visions of the contemporary cultural and ideological morass, Dicochea literally affixes printouts of imagery culled from the Internet and uses them as both philosophical and compositional guides in the process of transforming his canvases into teeming portraits of the fecund cultural collisions engendered by both our Enlightenment-era conceptions of reality, and our present moment of media saturation.

Of particular influence in Dicochea’s recent works is the realm of science fiction, as it intersects with the scientific-sounding fictions which have been used in the past to explain or justify social constructs.

“I’ve always found looking at culture through the lens of sci-fi really alluring. Social constructs having to do with inherited status are often loosely based on scientific research or so-called scientific logic, but at the same time they’re just utilizing whatever knowledge might have been arrived at in order to create or implicate a social fiction… the idea of “race” is kind of a blatant example of scientific fiction, or a narrative unfolded based on loose scientific facts, but really meant to legitimize exploitation. That’s the big connector, the big social fiction.”  -Claudio Dicochea

Dicochea’s paintings resemble fever dreams of cultural and historical mashups, as played out in a collective arena that is both universal and specific to the many narratives of Latin America enacted upon a global stage. And while critical and philosophical underpinnings are integral to Dicochea’s work, these days the painter is concerned with the forward-thinking aspects of his project:

“Everyone is born somewhere. I’m not so interested in the idea of a shared origin, I’m interested in the idea of a shared destination. It’s a concern of mine to invert the cone of media influence and not so much point it toward the past but point it openly toward the unwritten future.  When we’re talking about sci-fi, when we’re talking about the future, we’re talking about our destination.” -Claudio Dicochea




Exhibitions


More from Claudio Dicochea

Kim Cridler / Carrie Marill

Kim Cridler / Carrie Marill


Exhibition
April 23 – June 25, 2016

Opening reception with the artists
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, from 7:00 – 9:00pm

The works of Carrie Marill and Kim Cridler are both concerned with the tension between formal composition and emotional content. While their media and means of investigation are divergent, Marill and Cridler present artworks that are both beautiful objects and disciplined forays into the liminal area where ornament becomes function and emotion meets form.

The painter Carrie Marill fearlessly approaches the tension between ornament and object, intellectual content and aesthetic emotion. Marill’s work draws its power from an unexpected accretion of color and line within a contained canvas. An Arizona-based painter who exhibits nationally and has done much to shape the Phoenix art scene, Marill draws inspiration from a vast body of research–from folk quilts and Persian miniaturists to propaganda posters and industrial design. In each presentation, however, a disciplined philosophy of color and form pervades. Her works are recognizable for their rigorous, fine-lined beauty.

The foundation of my studio practice is an ever-evolving exploration of color and pattern. Studying weavings, quilting, and modern art, I am interested in pushing visual elements to their limits. The resulting paintings expose tensions between the living surface created by bold patterning and the constraints of the two-dimensional surface on which they exist. – Carrie Marill

Marill has referred to her painting as “Pop minimalism,” and her recent series, featuring geometrical exclamations and eery combinations of high pigment and stark pattern on linen canvas, seem to present something new to the realm of abstract painting. Like an optical/emotional illusion the repeating, limpid striations evoke a contemplative or hypnotic space, as though her work speaks to the constructive act of looking as much as it does the act of painting. Marill remarks: “As an artist this is my visual way of processing the information I encounter. I don’t know the answers until the very end. Or sometimes even the questions.“

While working in a vastly different milieu, sculptor Kim Cridler pursues a similar set of investigation into ornament and object, often making architecturally delineated vessel shapes studded with references to biological growth. In large-scale, immaculately fabricated works, the artist intertwines the deeply human pursuits of containment and ornament with the unpredictable patterns of plant life, affixing porcelain, beeswax, and other unexpected components to bronze and iron structures. The juxtaposition is compelling and curious, and Cridler’s work sometimes turns the tables, presenting a formal pattern of ornament or narrative bound to the unruly forms of felled trees or other organic treasures. The artist’s research is based both in an anthropological study of human design and ornament, and in the daily rambles around her home in rural Michigan.

“My work and research is rooted in the belief that the forms, processes, and materials that give flesh to objects of utility and ornament are rich with content–the tension between structure and decoration, the intellectual and the physical, the cognitive and emotive.” -Kim Cridler




Exhibitions


More from Kim Cridler

More from Carrie Marill

Maximo Gonzalez / Xawery Wolski

Maximo Gonzalez / Xawery Wolski


Exhibition
Up Through April 16, 2016

Spanning continents and generations, the works of Xawery Wolski and Maximo Gonzalez suggest an expansive new global order of art. Working in devalued currency (Gonzalez) and sculptural textiles (Wolski), both artists create philosophically provocative works from the raw materials of identity and memory, experimentation and tradition.

The works of Xawery Wolski arrive at Lisa Sette Gallery by way of Mexico City, where the sculptor lives and works after leaving communist Poland as a young art student. The son of a plant geneticist, Wolski blends a minimalist aesthetic with a sense of the complexity of design in the universe, presenting in archetypal and abstracted forms a refined, contemporary expression of the essential connectivity of nature.

Wolski’s cascading, organic installations seem to emanate a secret world from within a closed form. The sculptor’s Vestidos gather multitudes of clay or metal beads into enigmatic “vestments” which may recall ceremonial robes, crucifixes, or pinned specimens. In a striking piece that references traditions of both the Americas and Europe, a vestido composed of gold glazed terracotta beads presents a simple, shimmering image that bears the weight of history as elegantly as it proposes a modern grammar of object and form. Wolski’s work celebrates the inherent design of nature, while presenting subjects in their most essential form, with a sensual and reverent curiosity about the world.

Mexico City-based Maximo Gonzalez creates a sublime vernacular from civilization’s overlooked objects. The Argentinian-born artist has worked with detritus ranging from unspooled videotape to discarded aluminum flatware; he’s recognized internationally for scenes and installations composed of devalued currency. Gonzalez comments, “Reutilization as a form of vindication of disposed objects, by means of a transformation of these materials…is the uniting theme of my work.”

Gonzalez’s work with the devalued and obsolete currency of Mexico exemplifies the rigor of his conceptual and aesthetic investigation.  His complex and delicate works executed in paper money are created using traditional making crafts such as punch-cutting, manual screen-printing, weaving, and a method similar to the Japanese cut-and-fold technique of kirigami.  Through a series of labyrinths created with currency, Gonzalez delineates “the whimsical line of the division of territories, drawn conveniently for the one who traced it… a line that seeks to separate the inside and the outside, desire and wish, entering or leaving; a political labyrinth that is redrawn through centuries, always obeying the same line: the one that is traced by money.”




Exhibitions


More from Maximo Gonzalez

More from Xawery Wolski

Rachel Bess / Charlotte Potter

Rachel Bess / Charlotte Potter


Exhibition
January 9 – February 27, 2016

Opening reception with the artists
Saturday, January 9th, 2016, from 7:00 – 9:00pm

Lisa Sette Gallery will exhibit recent work by two young artists addressing issues of personal identity and digital personae. Arizona artist Rachel Bess makes modern-day vanitas and still-lifes in gemlike oil on panel, while Virginia-based Charlotte Potter accesses traditional forms of glassworking in creating distinctly contemporary sculptural and installation works. Both are rigorous practitioners who apply their formal skill to investigating concepts of selfhood and connection in a world of manufactured identities and enigmatic interactions.

The painter Rachel Bess melds traditional artmaking methods with 21st century concerns: Wielding light and shadow like an enchantment, Bess creates likenesses that are limpid and acute, in the formal vein of the old masters. Yet her models are contemporaries in leather corsets and black lipstick, posed in eerie vignettes, and her paintings are studded with present-day references. The result is startling—romantic and stylishly dark, somber and suggestive.


Bess remarks that her newest body of work came about in part through “thoughts about how different people and times are connected through inanimate objects.” To this end, her exhibition will comprise a series of portraits and still lifes linked by a common object.

“The thread that runs through all of the work is the idea of disparate people being, often unknowingly, connected through something that has no sentiment for the people it connects.”

A pioneer in performative and conceptual work in the medium of glass, Charlotte Potter uses the material as a metaphor for the fluidity, duality, and transparency of the self, and as representative of that which delineates the invisible borders between people. Some of the works in her Cameo series are made up of the profile pictures of would-be Facebook friends, blending the idea of a traditional cameo silhouette with the dissembling imagery presented on social media feeds.

In Message Received, Potter chronicles her relationship with a lover through a series of text messages: each message is displayed in a simple hinged locket, a message in relief and a reply in intaglio, as though if the words could just fit together somehow, they might create an impossible, perfect exchange between the two.

“All of my work is really about trying to articulate relationships in the modern age through virtual personas,” says Charlotte Potter. “What I’m interested in is how these… play out in our lives…and how to make them physical again.”

In Post Script, Susan Potter notes the strange quality of memorializing a loved one online, and the virtual afterlife that occurs on Facebook.

“In developing the cameo series mining Facebook data, I started to become acutely aware of friends who have passed on and the ways in which people attempt to reach out to them by posting on their wall. This work is the natural conclusion to this series exploring connectivity through social media and trying to make virtual relationships tangible. I am interested in the shadows that people leave behind and different mourning practices in modern society. Designed in the style of Victorian Mourning jewelry, each piece has been configured using Facebook data representing the frequency and volume of posts through glass beads and chains.”




Exhibitions


More from Rachel Bess

More from Charlotte Potter

Bruce Munro

Bruce Munro


Exhibition
November 7, 2015 – January 2, 2016

Public Opening Reception
Saturday, November 7, from 7:00-9:00pm

Working with fiber optics, LEDs, digital projection, and illuminating components both complex and simple, British artist Bruce Munro has created massive installation works for prominent international venues such as the Salisbury Cathedral, the de Rothschild Foundation, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Lisa Sette Gallery—a light-filled modernist space wrapped in a glowing fabric scrim, serves as an exhilarating format for the staging of several new works created by Munro specifically for the gallery’s unique interior.

Unafraid of beauty and an aesthete of illumination, Munro’s works address light as both a source of mystery and joy. Munro’s subjects are the spectrum of shared human experiences, and his inspirations are as diverse as his media—from the schoolboy humor referenced in his incandescent bed of nails, Restless Fakir, to the parable of Siddhartha quoted in Ferryman’s Crossing II, in which long and short flashes of light tell the story in Morse code, and the series of glowing dots and dashes brims over the surfaces of a contained interior space in riverine gesture.

Munro’s show will include Cloud, a work designed specifically for Lisa Sette Gallery that pays homage to the poem by William Wordsworth “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.”

Munro remarks that in this work he seeks to “create an animated landscape of ten thousand abstracted Daffodil blooms, each with the equation for photosynthesis embedded through Morse code into its yin yang cellular structure. Ultimately my aim is to create a contemplative and dreamlike environment that reinforces that our experience is relative to the spaces we explore.”

While the works may be technically complex, often Munro’s networks of glowing patterns and spatial associations illuminate the simple, momentary magic that radiance effects: humans are biologically changed by exposure to light, and we are drawn to it as a source of pleasure.

“A constant theme of my work is to describe the fleeting but contradictory ‘forever and always’ truth of ephemeral experience. ” – Bruce Munro

Munro’s show at Lisa Sette Gallery will be his first gallery exhibition; in the past the artist’s work has been scaled to outdoor spaces or installed in vast interior structures.  This fall Munro’s work is the subject of an unprecedented cultural collaboration in the Phoenix Valley entitled “Desert Radiance,” allowing the artist solo experimentation in scales and environments, from landmass to water, and the domestic to the panoramic. The “Desert Radiance” collaborators include some of the greater Phoenix area’s preeminent arts organizations, including a newly-commissioned indoor installation at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and site-specific outdoor installations at the Desert Botanical Garden and with Scottsdale Public Art on the Scottsdale Waterfront. This alliance of arts presenters is completed by Lisa Sette Gallery’s offering of diverse video installations—including two recently conceived pieces—and his newer gallery-scaled light-based artworks.





Exhibitions


More from Bruce Munro

Vignettes

Vignettes


Exhibition
September 12 – October 31, 2015

Opening Reception
Saturday, September 12th, from 7:00-9:00pm

Lisa Sette Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition titled “Vignettes”. The exhibition will include works from a diverse range of artists working on the edge of aesthetic, social, and conceptual investigation.

Works by: Damion Berger, Binh Danh, Angela Ellsworth, Maximo Gonzalez, Alan Bur Johnson, Mark Klett, Yao Lu, Matthew Moore, Luis Gonzalez Palma, Reynier Leyva Novo, Charlotte Potter, Gregory Scott, and James Turrell.





Exhibitions


13 Works You’ll be Lucky to See

13 Works You’ll be Lucky to See


Exhibition
June 6 – August 29, 2015

Opening Reception
Saturday, June 6th, from 7:00-9:00pm

Lisa Sette Gallery is pleased to present a summer group exhibition of 13 works “you’ll be lucky to see.”  The exhibition will include works from a diverse range of artists working on the edge of aesthetic, social, and conceptual investigation.




Exhibitions


Siri Devi Khandavilli / Reynier Leyva Novo

Siri Devi Khandavilli / Reynier Leyva Novo


Exhibition
April 4 – May 30, 2015

Opening reception with the artists
Saturday, April 4th, 2015, from 2:00 – 5:00pm

Lisa Sette Gallery is pleased to present the works of two exciting international artists: the bronze sculptures of Indian artist Siri Devi Khandavilli and the historically charged conceptual works of Cuban artist Reynier Leyva Novo. Both artists will be present for the opening of the exhibition.

Siri Devi Khandavilli models her sculptural pieces using traditional formulae of the vast Hindu pantheon, a vocabulary that has endured through millennia. Her new bronze figures explore political ideas and her personal reaction to recent religious violence.

Khandavilli’s own creation – the female poodle “deity” of wealth, glamor and luxury, continues to expand in her many forms including large mirrors, and a 7′ tall bronze figure named Darpana Sundari (Beauty Holding a Mirror).

The work of Reynier Leyva Novo reflects the futility of heroism and loss of meaning in any country in which people are manipulated by patriotic catch phrases that are a substitute for an evolving truth. This solo exhibition will include both known and new pieces, not shown before, and will revolve around ideas such as the historic and recently renewed diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USA.

His most recent work, The Glass Kiss, is a set of 70 wine glasses engraved with portraits, names and dates of the 44 American Presidents and 24Cuban Presidents to date, exhibited chronologically on the wall.





Exhibitions


More from Siri Devi Khandavilli

More from Reynier Leyva Novo

30 Year Anniversary Exhibition

30 Year Anniversary Exhibition


Exhibition
March 10 – 28, 2015

In 2015, Lisa Sette Gallery celebrates three decades exhibiting pioneering contemporary art in Arizona. The gallery will commemorate its anniversary with a March exhibition of contemporary art luminaries from near and far. The Lisa Sette Gallery 30th Anniversary show promises to delight followers of contemporary art and devotees of gallery founder Lisa Sette’s adventurous and discriminating curatorial eye.

In the art world at large, Lisa Sette Gallery’s 30th anniversary is cause for celebration, as its enduring commitment to aesthetic experimentation, and an unflinching engagement with up-and-coming international artists, has proved a template for success in the creation of a lasting contemporary cultural institution.

Lisa Sette Gallery offers the art world a sense of self—a considered reaction to the circumstances of time, beauty, and geographical place. Rather than distancing itself from what it means to live in a desert city, the Sette aesthetic embraces this idiosyncratic existence; nearing the edge of the hemisphere, simultaneously exhilarating and precarious, and fertile ground for contemporary artwork.

As seen over the past 30 years, and most recently in its expansion and move to the Beadle building on East Catalina Drive, Lisa Sette Gallery exemplifies a striking contemporary trajectory: toward the transcendent and the supremely centered, geographically defined and aesthetically advanced.

Artists include: Damion Berger, Rachel Bess, Enrique Chagoya, Huang Binyan, Kim Cridler, Binh Danh, Claudio Dicochea, Angela Ellsworth, Alan Bur Johnson, Jessica Joslin, Siri Devi Khandavilli, Mark Klett, Mayme Kratz, Carrie Marill, Matthew Moore, Marie Navarre, Doug and Mike Starn, Anthony Velasquez, and Masao Yamamoto


Exhibitions


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