The Brief Forever

The Brief Forever



Alan Bur Johnson & Mayme Kratz

Exhibition:
January 10 – February 28, 2015

Opening Reception with the artists:
Saturday, January 10th from 6:00-8:00pm

I am aware of my mortality as if it were a fire out of control. I feed off of it. Off this contrast. The brief and the forever. – Craig Childs

Lisa Sette Gallery commences its thirtieth anniversary year in 2015 with an exhibition featuring new works by Mayme Kratz and Alan Bur Johnson, artists concerned with permanence and ephemerality, flight and stillness, life and death, as encapsulated by the cellular systems and organic matter of the Arizona desert. The exhibit, which the artists have jointly titled The Brief Forever, will be accompanied by Neha Vedpathak’s Nostalgia, a performative and installation work referencing the smell of Jasmine on the evening air, as experienced in both Arizona and the artist’s native India.

Phoenix-based Mayme Kratz creates cast resin sculptures, wall pieces, and installations in which the desiccated remains of desert flora and fauna are embedded in mysterious and compelling patterns. Kratz notes that in her studio a microscope is always within reach, and her work brings scientific scrutiny the discrete, discarded units of the natural world—an arrangement of delicate white bones, a silvery drift of feathers—through the magnifying qualities of thick, expertly worked resin and pigment structures. Yet for all their compositional precision and investigative curiosity, Kratz’s works are foremost the practice of visual poetry; lush examinations into the sensual and spiritual possibilities of desert matter, the terrestrial cycles of death and rebirth.

Also finding inspiration and conceptual and material content of his desert home, Jerome-area artist Alan Bur Johnson creates kinetic installations from photographic transparencies, delicately framed and arranged in vast multiples—enlarged images revealing the cellular structure of insect wings, feathers, or particulates Johnson has photographed near his Jerome-area home. These individual parts in concert represent patterns of swarming, murmuration, or simply the unending cycles of flight and stillness.  Johnson remarks that he and Kratz are both inspired by wings as a representation of physical levity, and in Johnson’s multipart wall sculptures, each piece shimmers and flutters as though suspended in the coruscating light above the desert floor.

The works of Kratz and Johnson reflect on the transitory structures, both material and immaterial, that comprise a biological life.

In discussing our work, the primary theme we mutually return to is mortality. It is an endless inquiry of trying to understand life, its fleeting nature, and what follows. This obsession started at an early age for both of us, and decades later, we’re still pondering and finding ourselves left with more questions.




Exhibitions


In the Atrium

In the Atrium



Neha Vedpathak: Nostalgia

Exhibition:
January 10 – February 28, 2015

Opening Reception with the artist:
Saturday, January 10th from 6:00-8:00pm

Neha Vedpathak’s Nostalgia will take place in the gallery’s light-drenched central atrium, involving atmospheric intervention as well as objects created from a repetitive ritual in which the artist subtly manipulates the surfaces of swaths of handmade paper using a tiny pushpin, resulting in a space defined by its subtly altered perimeters.

My work is inspired by nature, rituals and materials. The discipline of rituals, the grandeur and mystery of nature and the innate qualities of materials all find their way in my practice/expression.




Exhibitions


More from Neha Vedpathak

An Intimate Complicity

An Intimate Complicity



Luis González Palma’s 20 Years of Looking Beyond

Exhibition:
October 18 – December 31, 2014

Opening Reception:
Saturday, October 18, 2014 from  7:00-9:00pm

Lisa Sette Gallery is proud to present a 20 year retrospective of the works of Luis González Palma commemorating the season opening of the gallery’s expansive new space, and its recently-announced exclusive North American representation of Luis González Palma.

I am deeply interested in how images are articulated in our minds, as what we call reality. My works are an interpretation of that reality, a reality full of stories, memories, crossed paths… They are remnants, left over from a fragmented world and dreamed into being. – Luis González Palma

A Guatamalan photographer who has been exhibiting internationally for nearly three decades, González Palma’s photo-collaged portraits superimpose Latin American and European spiritual and artistic traditions, and mine the complex relationship between the observer and observed in contemporary photography.

González Palma employs a range of exotic photographic techniques to achieve his works’ startling, aqueous effect: gelatin silver processing, gold leaf and resin inclusions, Kodalith prints, or, in recent works, inserting stark blades of acrylic paint that cleave the images’ otherwise serene aspects. González Palma is known for leaving true the whites of his models eyes, which glint eerily from a sea of dusky sepia.

Many of González Palma’s works are portraits of performers who are of Mayan descent, as is the artist himself. They peer out at the viewer with a frank, numinous, and strangely impassive mien, foregrounded against a constellation of symbol and metaphor—an Elizabethan ruff, for example, or a set of statuary wings. González Palma’s intention is to create a subconscious connection between model, artist and viewer, bringing each together in the fraught, sensuous moment of looking:

I think the photographer does not give dignity to the models, but dignity exists within them, and the photographer can become a link, allowing for a complex relationship between the model image (not the model) and the public. There’s a great collaboration, an intimate complicity, between photographer and model—it is necessary to generate an intensity that is not seen but rather “felt” in the image. – Luis González Palma

Möbius, González Palma’s latest body of work, juxtaposes the early 1900’s concretist/rationalist movement in Latin American art with the midcentury streak of intense nostalgia—also known as magical realism. To do so, González Palma intersects his romantic, sepia-toned portraits with striking geometrical arrangements in primary acrylics.

My aim with “Möbius” is to create works that allow for a new dialogue between my photographs, usually portraits loaded with emotion and subjective intensity, with abstract geometric painting elements referencing Latin American concretism… providing a rereading of the visual history of ideas from this side of the world, from its history and its contradictions. – Luis González Palma

Staged in Lisa Sette Gallery’s stunning new Al Beadle-designed desert-modernist space, a subterranean gem in midtown Phoenix, and echoing some of the gallery’s ongoing concerns with the timeless aesthetics of emotion, romance and danger as they are experienced in contemporary life, An Intimate Complicity promises to be a fitting fall-season inauguration of the gallery’s impressive new location, and an unflinching plunge into the dreams and history of the New World.




Exhibitions


More from Luis González Palma

Hello Midtown!

Hello Midtown!


Exhibition
Saturday, June 14, 2014

Opening reception with the artists
Saturday, June 14, 2014, from 1:00 – 4:00pm

Lisa Sette Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of our summer exhibition, “Hello Midtown!”, at our new location in Midtown Phoenix.

After 28 years in Scottsdale we are doing what we do best – leading/forging new territory. We are gravitating to an up-and-coming energy in Midtown Phoenix, and have found just the right architectural gem to house the gallery. — Lisa Sette

The Gallery’s impressive new home will allow Sette to carry on and expand upon a curatorial vision that is both locally relevant and globally cognizant, in a space that opens up new possibilities for Sette’s curatorial work at large, and for the intellectual and cultural life of downtown Phoenix.

Throughout three trailblazing decades, Lisa Sette has remained committed to discovering and exposing original, intriguing forms of expression.

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 NavarreDoug and Mike Starn, Anthony Velasquez, and Masao Yamamoto

Exhibitions


Domesticated

Domesticated



Carrie Marill

Exhibition
April 3 – May 17, 2014

Lisa Sette Gallery is pleased to present new works by Carrie Marill, a contemporary painter whose graphic acuity is matched by her unflinching aesthetic curiosity. In a new body of work Domesticated, Marill aims her precise visual methodology toward hidden-away scenes of home and family life, transforming these tableaux into moments of pictorial intensity and formal investigation.

Several of Marill’s recent paintings began as odes to the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, who spent a career portraying ceramic vessels in serene, focused still-lifes. In the process of arranging still lifes in her own studio, Marill realized her own life had become more complicated: “The Morandis were so still and quiet, and my life is not like that; it’s become messy and absurd. “I was on the Morandi expressway and got off on Guston,” quips Marill, referencing the loose, cartoony style of neo-expressionist Philip Guston.

Marill acknowledges that her work is often a process of working through questions or issues graphically, with the severe and concentrated quality of her markmaking instigating further conceptual inquiry.

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. —Carrie Marill




Exhibitions


More from Carrie Marill

17th Biennale of Sydney

17th Biennale of Sydney



Exhibition
May 12, 2010 – August 1, 2010
Sydney, Australia

The 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia chose 19 artists from the United States to participate in the 2010 exhibition. Three of the artists selected are represented by Lisa Sette Gallery of Scottsdale, Arizona: Enrique Chagoya, Claudio Dicochea, and Angela Ellsworth.

“Deserts and water are the most obvious “inconvenient truths” about human influence on the planet. But, it is precisely this windswept, unkempt, erotic, blasted, forsaken space – literal and imaginative – in which many artists ply their unwanted play – their burnings and yearnings – always burdened with the truth of testimony. Bertolt Brecht once posed the question, “In the dark times / Will there also be singing?” His answer was, “Yes, there will be singing / About the dark times.” In the cathartic world of art, the light often comes from a surviving ability to make palpable the incomprehensible – to make the invisible visible – to make flesh from the ethereal. To imagine the unimaginable, we are ignited to understanding by new stories and images. The desert; the water; the fantastic example of both is one such urgent, enduring imagining.” -Bruce W. Ferguson, independent art curator and critic



Angela Ellsworth


Angela Ellsworth is an interdisciplinary artist whose startling performance pieces and objects often draw on her own background as a descendant of Mormon pioneers. The Biennale of Sydney will include an installation of nine of Ellsworth’s exquisitely sinister Seer Bonnets—bonnets whose iridescent exteriors, formed entirely by the pearl-tips of tens of thousands of corsage pins, belie their dangerous needle-point interiors. Titled Seer Bonnets: A Continuing Offense, each of the nine bonnets will represent the wives of Ellsworth’s great-great grandfather, who was the fifth prophet of the Mormon Church. Ellsworth is also preparing a performance for inclusion in the Biennale that will take place throughout the event space and involve dancing Mormon “sister-wives.” Writing in ArtForum magazine, Deborah Susser observes: “Ellsworth mines two seemingly dissonant genealogies—a lineage of influential female performance artists and her own Mormon heritage—to produce an unholy hybrid.”




Claudio Dicochea


The work of Claudio Dicochea, an electrifying mixture of pop-culture commentary and acid-hued acrylic gesture, addresses this theme in frenetic collaged paintings that take on the tradition of 18th century casta paintings (which depicted various Colonial-era racial categorizations). Dicochea turns the genre on its head by employing contemporary media idols, comic book characters and political figureheads as stand-ins for the obsolete European stereotypes. Four of his paintings, including De la Gran Madre y un Duke, la hibrida (Of the Great Mother and a Duke, a Hybrid), 2010, will be included in the Biennale of Sydney. Dicochea remarks “I think [my] work aligns itself with the curator’s idea that no one culture is able to possess an entire, complete knowledge of the world… No one society holds a monopoly on cognition or perception. I find that a seductive concept and it’s one that’s always informed my work.”




Enrique Chagoya


Enrique Chagoya’s extensive and internationally known body of work also seeks to describe alternative cultural histories. Working on amate bark paper, in the tradition of ancient codices (book-like pictorial histories from pre-Colonial Central America), Chagoya uses humor to critique the current cultural and political power-struggles taking place on the American continents while referencing both ancient and contemporary aesthetic traditions. These seemingly paradoxical traditions come together in works like the poignant Illegal Alien’s Guide to Global Warming. Chagoya remarks, “I integrate diverse elements: from pre-Columbian mythology, Western religious iconography, ethnic stereotypes, ideological propaganda from various times and places, American popular culture, etc. Often, the result is a non-linear narrative with many possible interpretations.” A professor at Stanford, Chagoya has been a long-term collaborator with Lisa Sette and has been represented by the gallery for over two decades.


Exhibitions


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