R O U N D W E A T H E R
After the Fire
February 2 - March 13, 2021
Round Weather’s second exhibition recognizes fire as central to our earthen experience. “We seem almost a fire dependent/ species like this tree,” writes poet Ed Roberson in “Sequoia Sempervirens,” and our next years promise increasing conflagration born of our natural resources. We must work now toward tomorrow’s recovery. After the Fire is both the title of Sylvia Fein’s painting of a fuming forest and a primary metaphor and/or method connecting Miguel Arzabe’s paper weavings and kite rituals, Ashwini Bhat’s sculptures of weathered ecology, Sarah A. Smith’s corroded gold leaf and endangered spirit animals, Martha Tuttle’s depiction of space dust and galaxy haloes, and Andy Vogt’s drawing with rust, oxidation using sunlight, and salvaged wood.
Proceeds from every artwork sold largely go to Dogwood Alliance, Friends of the Earth, and Indigenous Environmental Network. Each year our advisory board selects three nonprofit organizations to reward for their track record in helping temper the climate crisis.
Sylvia Fein, After the Fire, 1961, egg tempera, 8 3/8 x. 14 3/8 in. framed
Miguel Arzabe, Santa Fe, 2012, woven silkscreen art posters, 81 x 108 in.
Sylvia Fein’s egg tempera “After the Fire” is “a highlight of her oeuvre” (Lawrence Rinder). Its smoked-sap tones and noncommittal forms suggest the unsettled ground beneath even surrealism’s figures: affect as a power smoldering across thought. Fein’s verticals and slant laterals create a sieve for vision not unlike that which Miguel Arzabe weaves from depictions of indigenous women on silkscreened posters. When one’s beloved places have been burned down, when representation is part of the fevered economy of invasion, how does one reclaim perception? What are the borders for reappropriation? What do we represent? Such questions also posed in Arzabe’s most recent weaving—an orchestration of the collective WPA effort and chromatic riches within national forest posters—might find inkling of answer in his photographs of a round orange kite around a Harvest Moon, portals to our orientation as earthlings.
Ashwini Bhat sculpts in ceramics, potentially the art form most intwined with fire and its capacity to grant strength. Her Assembling California series renders favorite trails and wildfire-effaced forests as though their lives depend on it. Sturdy, writhing shapes seem to access the Earth’s own enduring urge. Round Weather is honored to also display works from other Bhat series, Fainting in Coils and Liquid Earth, which marries gravitas of stone to glaze’s mineral marvel, ending in objects that look just this side of found.
Ashwini Bhat, Liquid Earth 02, 2021,
glazed ceramic, 3 1/2 h. x 7 1/2 w. x 2 1/2 d. in.
Martha Tuttle and Andy Vogt display art marked by our greatest fires, work that collaborates with the Sun or contemplates the Big Bang’s afterbirth. The Sun oxidizes pigment-sensitive fabric beneath Vogt’s wooden “shadeshape” sculptures which, once removed, leave a ghostly afterimage—a shadowy footprint of a lost structure captured in a snapshot of sunlight. His arrangements with light, rust, atomized steel, and salvaged wood laths reveal a Goldsworthy-grade sensitivity to matter and a Klee-worthy control of line. Vogt’s abiding interest is, in his words, in “moments of upheaval” when materials “change states” and “become a drawing medium.”
Martha Tuttle, The protective halos of the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way overlapping 3, 2021,
graphite, charcoal, pastel, cast steel, 11 1/4 x 9 in.
Andy Vogt, Untitled 20150909 (sepia ss3), 2015,
sunlight oxidized pigment on fabric, 77 1/4 x 39 1/2 in. framed
Tuttle finds that tenderness forms when drawing space dust and galaxy haloes. In a conversation online with Susan Harris for The Brooklyn Rail, Tuttle speaks of how our being matter can bestow responsibility and belonging, how “realizing our own intertwinedness with the physical world, the mattered world, our Earth but also our galaxy […] will bring a sense of ecology forward.” In her hands, retracing the light and dark of the cosmos becomes a reciprocal act of empathy, so much so that she compares the vitality in space dust to images of the Madonna and Child. Each drawing is paired with a beach stone she casts in steel, bringing the lofty ideas in the drawings down to earth and into one's hands.
The work of Sarah A. Smith often explores how the fire of humanity impacts other species, from mortally alert wolf eyes to the spoils of the hunt for oil: birds killed by British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico. Our capacity to alarm and deform the natural world may usher in a new global prevalence of surreal portrayal, suggested by Smith’s trapped mountain lion decomposing into roots and wings. Using oxidized imitation gold leaf, Smith’s medium is, like death, also a corrosive chemical process.
Sarah A. Smith, Mountain Lion, 2009,
metal leaf, patina washes, pencil, ink, 82 x 59 in.
One wall at Round Weather remains dedicated to art from our previous group exhibition, Creative Reverence. The wall becomes a bridge between shows, a collage of David Wilson’s biggest single outing, Terri Loewenthal’s hand-crafted optics, a Vanessa Woods pinhole photograph, and a resounding Colter Jacobsen mandala formed by the word now.