R O U N D W E A T H E R
Round Weather presents Middle Grounds: Tracy Grubbs and Paul Taylor, a show growing from the artists’ indelible explorations in ink. Taylor’s drawings layer sumi ink and evoke notions of impermanence between natural environments and built structures both mental and material, but his seascapes and mountain ranges of shades and their hauntingly clean renderings conjure a pulse beyond blood, an evanescent sensation that can be unsettling and comforting. They feel like the ghost of the world. From such landscapes, one can imagine the emanation of Grubbs’ Kinship inklings between humans and other animals. Their frozen forms of motion are animated by wide gradations and coagulations of gray and the inspiration Grubbs takes in “Donna Haraway’s notion of ‘kinship’ [as ‘enduring relatedness that carries consequences’] and emerging science about the symbiotic nature of plant, animal, and human relationships.” Middle Grounds’ deep-down grayness includes a respite of color via Grubb’s Kinship drawing of a dozen species at once and as one. The colors’ preponderance of white suggests the tenderness of interdependence.
The exhibition’s third series in ink is Tracy Grubbs’ portraits of deer, made with gravity by handling and angling the paper. The shapes of their being can even look like the shadows of subtly undulating paper. Yet their address is so direct and unencumbered that viewers might wonder if the deer will ever forget them. Other series include Grubb’s subtractive paintings of nests and traps, her landscapes made from torn book covers, the handmade chance precipitations of Rain Listening, and My Bestiary: oil paintings in the shapes of black construction paper she tore while blindfolded and meditating upon certain animals, their symbolic powers, and human presence. These resonant, focused forms were born from Grubbs’ anxieties about species extinction and habitat loss. Paul Taylor’s sculpture Book resembles clear cut mountain forests. Made using computer ribbon cable, one can imagine the flattenings and deepenings caused by book-, internet-, and nature-based relationships with the world. Elsewhere in Middle Grounds, we see Taylor thinking in slats that modulate shadows as well as sculpting with wood and concrete that ask the viewer to picture the connecting of submerged rebar and half-visible shapes. Such seemingly simple modes of making impart an experience of us needing each other. The sculpture Dark Waves reaches plurality in the viewer’s imagination. During the self-aware Anthropocene, Taylor might best be regarded as a minimalist of ethics.
We invite you to further explore how we need each other by joining Tracy Grubbs and Paul Taylor at their Middle Grounds opening reception 4 - 6 PM, Saturday September 30. 30% of proceeds from the artwork will be donated to the climate-crisis mitigating work of the nonprofits Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, and Sunrise Movement.