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.