Matt Magee finds inspiration in scientific, ecological, and technological ideas with references to ancient traditions like map-making and hieroglyphics. An examination of how throwaway culture trains us to associate certain colors and materials with concepts like cleanliness, Magee’s tapestry-like suspended sculptures are assembled of deconstructed blue plastic detergent bottles. The artist comments: “Recycling and the belief that our recyclable waste is in fact recycled, is a falsehood. By repurposing detergent bottles, an awareness is brought forward that there may be other ways to recycle, that sustainability may actually exist in a material that is otherwise thrown away.”
Michael Lundgren creates haunting and starkly beautiful photographs using multi-layered manipulation within the camera and the darkroom. Lundgren’s Current is a part of the Geomancy series, which refers to the method of interpreting sedimental markings and patterns on the ground. Says Lundgren, “Landscape has always been an invitation for me into the mystical, for that which is beyond our rational understanding of the world. I’ve hoped to make photographs that act as parallels for that entrance, that invite the viewer to contemplate a world that they do not understand and in so doing, to arrest their own world view.”
In a related ode to form and color, Hunt Rettig’s elegant assemblages of polyester films and synthetic rubber feature looping, circular shapes, pure color, and biomorphic forms, showcasing his sensibility for the organic, the cellular, and the sensual shapes of our natural world. “Within my terrain I see cross sections of cross sections, unnatural confluences, unnavigable borders, unrestricted constriction and breath-like expansion.”
Each work in blue exemplifies an engagement with cultural transformation. Often, the artists offer an oblique or direct challenge to the economic and societal structures that give rise to states of corruption and willful ignorance. And yet in the gesture of challenging the current state of affairs, and in the action of working raw materials into something uniquely reflective of the human experience, the artists of blue, like the color blue, offer the infinite hope of progress in this simple promise: we will always develop new ways of seeing the world, and of sharing that vision with one another.