Mayme Kratz, Marie Navarre, and Kim Cridler
March 6 – May 29, 2021
Celebrating a season of renewal and a long-anticipated transition toward new patterns of being, Lisa Sette Gallery’s spring exhibition, Nature & Structure, features works that involve the natural world as both symbol and science: human representations of nature become a vital means of transmitting information toward future generations. Mayme Kratz’s glowing resin castings, Marie Navarre’s serenely inquiring photographic constructions, and Kim Cridler’s steel vessels all illuminate the contradictions at play in a moment of dramatic environmental and social change.
Mayme Kratz is an artist and advocate for the flora and fauna existing within the high deserts of the Southwest. Kratz draws inspiration from the stark beauty of these environments, memorializing not only the botanical treasures that she finds on her restless travels across Western landscapes, but also the overlooked minutiae: In Kratz’s cast resin forms, a handful of gravel or small burrs may be transformed into a likeness of the vast swirling galaxies from which it originates. Kratz captures the ephemeral radiance of these harsh environments and the delicate calibrations of fragile ecosystems. They also provide her with material: seedpods, insect wings, cactus roots, bleached animal bones, leaves, grasses and flowers. Kratz’s precise formal designs lead the viewer to contemplate the infinitely large, calling to mind the cosmos of stars and planets, as well as the impossibly small, alluding to cellular and crystalline structures.
Capturing timeless, universal scenes, such as the abstract pattern of a flock of birds traversing the sky, a spray of branches in early bloom, or horizons unmoored from specific times and places, Marie Navarre’s photo constructions resemble the Japanese haiku form that inspires her. Working with vast collections of images of natural phenomena captured on her travels, Navarre conjures images that appear to be from just outside the realm of human observation. Navarre’s prints are often collaged and hand-stitched over backgrounds of satin-like Gampi paper, enigmatic photographic constructions that document the implications of a moment in nature and in time. “I have this trouble of being a photographer but wanting to make the photographs into something else. I still think like a photographer even though in some ways I’m sabotaging the way that photography works. I still begin my artmaking process by making pictures. I don’t know how to begin without the photograph.”
Kim Cridler’s steel vessels are made up of the angular forms and facets of fabricated metal, but among these angles are unexpected organic treasures: berry-like jewels, beeswax, and horsehair. The juxtaposition of materials allows Cridler to explore vessel forms as a means for holding memory and meaning. “I was making raised hollow ware, like that made by Paul Revere, and was fascinated with the kind of work that carried a lot of sentimental value in families. I learned about my family through these types of things… The reason they were important was the family connections, the memories and the sentiment that invested in the objects, not how they were used. I started making objects that were stripped down, torn apart, because I wanted to get the emotional charge these things carry.”
Mayme Kratz, Marie Navarre, and Kim Cridler convey a relationship between human aesthetic, practice, and biological patterns beyond our control, holding specific memories of our world while introducing the possibility of existence within changed landscapes.