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