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Mysteries of the Natural World at Lynden Sculpture Garden

Jan. 24, 2017
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Tori Tasch's Centerfold Series

Two artists who enjoyed a year-long residency at the Lynden Sculpture Garden have used nature and their experience of this time, plus decades of art making, in the exhibition “Pat Hidson + Tori Tasch: Draw Print Fold Paint.”

Their work is divergent in the sense that Hidson makes large, boldly colored mixed-media paintings, while Tasch tends toward small, delicately formed sculptural pieces made of paper and other reused or recycled materials. The artists become counterpoints although both reference nature and organic inspirations. The former is a kaleidoscope of bright hues and wild shapes, while the latter is almost microscopic and quiet. Yet in their own ways, both request the viewer to pause for detail.

The exhibition opens with Tasch’s Centerfold Series, which is a cloud of 365 butterflies, installed by the reception desk. The small creatures, made of paper and sheets from books, speak to an interest in the power of images, information and the tactile qualities of the physical page. The entirety of this piece is complex and ultimately unknowable. The number, size and placement of each butterfly precludes noting each nuance, but then again, this is like a metaphor for the mystery of the natural world.

Hidson’s paintings are drawn from nature, but different. They are abstract, full of pattern and bright color, but still only suggestive of any single thing. Instead they explode into a panoply of shapes and texture. A painting like Exploration is indicative of the general mode of Hidson’s work. She compresses fields of red and green into linear rhythms, accented by seafoam-colored loops and multi-colored twirls. The garden, the inspiration for Hidson’s paintings, is more about the sensation of taking in a burst of colorful life all at once.

The artists’ collaborative work is also on view in the form of cyanotype flags, which were installed in the garden earlier in the year. In the gallery, they are more docile than they were when fluttering in a clearing on the grounds. Collectively, they are also a reflection of nature and the contemplative yields of the artists’ residency.

Through Feb. 19 at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, 2145 W. Brown Deer Road.

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