R O U N D W E A T H E R
Remembrance of Things Paper
May 13 - July 5, 2021
In an essay concerning dying glaciers on display in Remembrance of Things Paper, philosopher Todd May asks, “What is it to take the measure of a time we have created, a time we have telescoped so that the passing of what is around us is condensed from eons into years?” The artists in the exhibition reply, “Paper.” Paper is the passing in our hands. Working in zero-waste collage; otherwise cut or erased paper; drawing, watercolor, and reductive woodcut on paper; as well as weaving and sculpture expanded by paper, Todd Anderson, Cecilia Andrews, Todd Bartel, Ajit Chauhan, Michelle Yi Martin, Daniela Naomi Molnar, Kennedy Morgan, and Dora Lisa Rosenbaum also respond by benefiting the climate crisis mitigation efforts of nonprofits Dogwood Alliance, Friends of the Earth, and Indigenous Environmental Network.
Daniela Naomi Molnar collects rainwater, dew, and pigment from earth and rock to make her watercolors. The shapes in her New Earth series map newly exposed ground near melting glaciers and the states of mind found there: confusion, grief, awe. Molnar writes, “This new earth is like a wound, or new, delicate skin that has formed over a wound.” She gathers the shapes by relying heavily on NASA satellite images and data-based projections, overlaying them to generate difficulty comprehending any one swimming form or sinking area. The technique also ennacts the interconnected, ecological consciousness to which an ever-increasing portion of 21st century humanity awakens, from “the way,” as Molnar writes, “a glacier calving in Greenland causes the ocean to rise in the Marshall Islands” to the way we consume and travel traumatizes the sky.
Kennedy Morgan’s oddly bodily drawings in the exhibition take inspiration from natural forms such as trees and fungus to create intestinesque figures that disappear into their surroundings. They/she/he notes how the series explores “the erasure of time in relation to bodies.” Morgan gives us lovely, lumpy inhabitants of the Anthropocene: our time erasing time. Their large drawing “The white of the paper” demonstrates a more representational current in their work with large feet stepping from the sprouting ground into the erased place of blank paper. Here the surroundings disappear. In both currents, Morgan’s stippled depiction of light sliding to shade curving into dark works with the micro-crests and troughs of paper’s texture to achieve graphic grace.
Ajit Chauhan erases layers from old record covers and postcards and Michelle Yi Martin will only weave with found materials, highlights of an approach to artmaking prominent in the San Francisco Bay Area. The aesthetic and practice of utilizing foraged, reused matter is what the climate crisis hopes will become the primary way artists operate for the foreseeable future. What the world needs now is a globally concerted Arte Povera. Chauhan explains how local legends Chris Johanson and Alicia McCarthy are important for “dumpster diving and using found wood and house paint,” adding “the work itself might not have an ecological message but the entire ethos is inside of the work.” Chauhan’s embrace of the tossed-aside both belies and is in keeping with the hair’s-breadth attention required to make his achingly beautiful forms. His methods include nano-sanding and scalpelling so precise it could save a life. Yi Martin reminds us, “Cloth is civilization. When I weave, I am in direct conversation with my ancestors, the soil, the water, and the breath of each being.” She weaves both playful jam-band celebrations and dead serious, ghostly undulations by any means necessary to feel in alignment with the Earth, including found fish wire, polyester, balloons, tyvek, wool, jute, nettle, and paper. She writes, “My hands speak a language of how we have kept our loved ones warm and how we've continued to be human.”
Todd Bartel’s Witness series comes out of a zero-waste studio process he pioneered: interlocking collage. He cuts each item from a pair of pages identically and then exchanges them, using all byproducts of the dissection in the artwork. Bartel named the series “to call attention to post-industrial global land treatment and the climate crisis” and sourced the images from auction house catalogs of fancy furniture and pre-19th century landscape paintings. He offers Witness, as he puts it, as “an indictment regarding the surreal way consumer-driven culture has addressed environmental concerns—sustained ignorance about the cost of mass consumption and its resource-dependent materiality.” Besides Bartel’s identical twin incisions, the miracle of these works is their deconstructive perspective, their negative and positive charge. He writes how in them “we can see the void in the things we consume” while adding that “these exchanges obtain co-dependent diptych displacements—synthetically balanced views of the natural world with less waste.”
Todd Anderson and Dora Lisa Rosenbaum are exquisite printmakers paired here to further explore human consumption and ecological free fall. Anderson’s work involves research on current climate science, consultation with scientists, and fieldwork in often remote parts of the world. Remembrance of Things Paper includes his photopolymer gravures of The Last Glaciers of Akshayuk Pass in the Canadian Arctic and reductive woodcut prints of sentinel tree species’ adaptation to mounting aridification in the deserts of the American Southwest. The acuity of his junipers’ crowns, the heat-wave striation of ink and bark, and the hushed blue of the wounded ice—they affect how one breathes. Rosenbaum’s work explores how, as she writes, “individuals constitute themselves through their daily practices and routines,” how “we project ourselves onto the world, (re)producing appropriate social dispositions.” From her very varied work, this exhibition features her ink drawings on Denril film of Paper or Plastic grocery bags and food packaging in addition to a more personal piece titled Perpetual, Easter-colored collographs on mulberry paper of Rosenbaum’s petroleum-based swimsuits. Most delightful are her etchings of various brands of potato chips presented as specimens in display cases with insect pins, “drawing attention to our increasingly manufactured food-scape and to how detached we are from what we consume.”
Cecilia Andrews collage Faces Series 5 accentuates lines of communication across humans’ surface differences. Emily Miller, gallery director of Municipal Bonds—where Andrews’ solo show is now up—describes how the various heads’ “silent conversation is delimited by the borders of the paper, so as to be contained in constant connection.” Round Weather includes the stately work for both its material means and to forward the conversation across local galleries and museums that Miller speaks of in the image, “a call to listen and engage, with varied peoples, positions, and perspectives.”
A main question for Andrews’ faces is what they’re talking about. Bare of background, Each Other seems to be the collage’s one option. Round Weather would love to substantively connect as many art lovers as possible, pulling in the same direction—earthward, skyward—until the dead paper that holds us refills with tempering trees. One of the organizations this nonprofit art gallery rewards in 2021, Dogwood Alliance successfully defends standing forests in the Southern United States, the single best way to drawdown carbon from our traumatized sky. As we say Goodbye to a future-threatening multitude of glaciers, a visit to Remembrance of Things Paper and an art acquisition through Round Weather is a step in the right direction.
Todd Anderson, The Sandcastle (from The Last Glaciers of Akshayuk Pass), 2021, photopolymer gravure on Crown Kozo washi paper, edition of 20, 26 3/4 x 18 5/8 in. framed
Daniela Naomi Molnar, New Earth 5 (Pipeline / Western United States), 2018,
natural and synthetic pigments and rainwater on paper, 22 x 30 in. unframed
Kennedy Morgan, The white of the paper, 2020, graphite on paper, 21 1/2 x 54 in. unframed
Ajit Chauhan, The 4 Seasons, erased record cover, 16 3/8 x 16 3/8 in. framed, courtesy Anglim/Trimble
Michelle Yi Martin, Mapping S-Town, acrylic, wool, tyvek, paper, 28 x 31 in.
Todd Bartel, Witness 7 a & b, 2005, burnished interlocking collage, auction house catalog cuttings, watercolor, document repair tape
7a: Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller Furniture Company, Zeeland, MI, ESU Storage Unit 150-C Designed 1949-50, Produced 1950-55 with Martin Johnson Heade’s "Sunrise, Florida," c. 1890
4 x 4 1/2 in.
7b: Negative Space and Shelf of Charles and Ray Eames [...], 3 x 6 3/4 in.
Dora Lisa Rosenbaum, Serving Size: Pringles Specimen, 2007,
etching, digital print, insect pins, acrylic box, foam core, 6 x 17 x 12 in.
Cecilia Andrews, Faces Series 5, 2019, collage on paper,
32 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. framed, courtesy Municipal Bonds