R O U N D  W E A T H E R

  Chromocartography 

         March 17 - May 8, 2021

          Viewing Room (forthcoming)

Chromocartography navigates imaginary binaries such as nature and culture while situating art as a restorative force for our Earth in peril.  A large part of proceeds from art acquired at Round Weather go to Dogwood Alliance, Friends of the Earth, & Indigenous Environmental Network for their work mitigating the climate crisis.

 

Chromocartography brims with some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s strongest current artists—

Mark M. Garrett, Hughen/Starkweather, Sahar Khoury, Dionne Lee, Shara Mays,

Rachelle Reichert, and Jessica Snow—as well as two contemporaries with international impact, Suzan Frecon and Jenny Kendler.  A starting point for the show is Dionne Lee’s knots, where tied-together wood and a dam gesture toward the stark shift of ground when objects, nature, and people are utilized, regarded primarily as tools, and used to map out and lay claim to property and resources.  The variable dimensions of the repeated photographs suggest breathing human presence in technological perception. 

                                       Dionne Lee, knots, 2019, collage of silver gelatin prints, paper,

                                                                                                  15 1/8 x 12 1/8 in. framed

 

Hughen/Starkweather, Mark M. Garret, and Rachelle Reichert consider geographical mapping and imaging with ecological through lines and large networks’ limbic system echoes: water fears, thirst of renewable energy’s storage, care for economic uprootings.  Hughen/Starkweather display works from their series based on natural and engineered Water Systems as well as a massive piece based on aerial images of development and housing that exist near marshlands and waterways, reflecting the past and future of such areas as sea levels fluctuate.  If their color-mad maps have a destination, then it’s the viewer’s own connection with their local landscapes and consideration of impacts on their home ecosystems.            

                                                                  Hughen/Starkweather, Narrow Defile (Aqueduct), 2021,

                                            ink, gouache, acrylic paint, and pencil on wood, 11 x 14 in. unframed

 

Mark M Garret’s cutting from a map of San Francisco dances with his dragon-green watercolors such that one imagines both reforestation of the peninsula and a toxic slurry from raised sea levels.  Beside this exemplar from Garrett’s Limbo series, Chromocartography includes an Orchid Nebulae of bracing beauty and Shibboleth, where traditional U.S. map chromatics melt and apocalypse might be characterized as oil.  His delivery of prowess through delicacy underscores one’s sense of the powerful frailty of national illusions and sociological constructs.

                                          Mark M Garrett, Limbo 1, 2018, cut map collage & watercolor, 

                                                                                                20 11/16 x 16 11/16 framed

Rachelle Reichert’s Li-ion series draws from and digs into even renewable energy’s currently endless need for a limited resource: lithium.  Her photorealistic drawings and ceramic sculptures are inspired by three global sites impacted ecologically and culturally by extractive technology and tracked with earth imaging satellites: lithium ponds in Bolivia, Nevada, and the Mojave Desert.  Rendering such images in graphite highlights the omnipresent mineral stakes of human existence depicted.  The heightened contrast of drawing in blacks and whites allows the landforms to appear almost as expressive, spirited responses to the technologies squeezing the earth from above and below.  The sculptures are made of clay hand dug at the site of lithium ponds.

               Rachelle Reichert, Silver Peak 2018/2010, 2019, graphite on paper, 26 1/2 x 35 in framed

 

Round Weather is honored to display three watercolors by formal alchemist Suzan Frecon.  They reward every level of attention.  Working with a personal, hands-on technique of grinding and mixing various solvents and pigments, she prompts John Yau to write, “I have the sense that the earth itself––its minerals and different soils––is always a baseline in Frecon’s work, that a deeply felt ecological awareness informs the contingency of the interrelated colors and forms…”  Her cathedral study oscillates figure and ground and presence and absence to a degree it produces an effect that there’s not much gained by naming.

                                                                               Suzan Frecon, cathedral study, 2021,

                  watercolor on agate burnished Indian ledger rag paper, 11 x 9 5/8 in. framed 

            courtesy the artists & David Zwirner Gallery, frame courtesy Sterling Art Services

 

Shara Mays’ colors form an energizing, Edenic sanctuary for beleaguered consciousness.  She writes that her work “is inspired by a desire to visually depict safe spaces for people of color” and it “explores the fluidity of memory and the transcendence of self through the language of abstraction and landscape.”  Mays’ nondual approach to selfhood and her faith in the transpersonal usefulness of artistic traditions occur in the same space where psychic inheritances run so deep they infuse places.  Her chromatic verve and purposeful brushwork convey a nourished flourishing.

                                               Shara Mays, Helen, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 62 x 50 in.  unframed

 

Jessica Snow started her Confluence  Still Life series during shelter-in-place and gradually realized she was “trying to hold form in place, objects in a quiet space, and myself in the same state.”  Her househeld spatial poetics rid objects of utility and a single identity.  Snow’s paintings are maps for stillness, where textures, densities, colors step forward and forms exceed their descriptive bounds, achieving vibrant quiet.

                               Jessica Snow, Confluence – Still Life 1, 2020, oil on canvas, 58 x 62 in. unframed

 

The general practice of Jenny Kendler seeks to de-center the human in order to make space for radical, transformative qualities of the transanimal/vegetable/mineral world.  Mutants and/or protectors of this world, perhaps, found porcelain birds in her Camouflage series are topped by the likes of Kintsugi, Bucky-ball-esque glittered facets, and lichen.  These playful and disturbing creations grow from Kender’s life centered on ecologic contemplation and direct action.

                                                                                Jenny Kendler, Camouflage XLIII (Pair Bond disguise

                                                                          for the “common” Goldfinch, as survival is not assured),

                                                         2021, glitter, styrofoam, and found porcelain, 8 1/8 x 15.5 x 3.5 in.

 

Sahar Khoury presents new work that suggests perspectives on sculpture and objecthood that fold categories onto each other like a paper map.  In one she crafts a celebration of the gallery’s floor using found concrete, rebar, and haptically-inhabited ceramics.  Emphasizing the geological guts of modern and urban living, it bursts with gritty floweroid, sea-creaturesque figures evoking the Earth’s own fanciful explorations of color and form.

                                                                                     Sahar Khoury, untitled, 2021, concrete, steel, and ceramic,

                                                                                         14 x 37 x 14 1/2 in.,courtesy Rebecca Camacho Gallery

 

When we make other people, places, and even the objects in our hands into disposable tools, then we lose humanity.  Chart a different course and visit Chromocartography at Round Weather, where art acquisitions are repurposed into climate action that protects humanity.