Earthly Elements is the title of an exhibit featuring recent ceramic sculpture by Hank Saxe, works on paper by Dora Dillistone, and paintings by Brian Shields, at the Phillip Bareiss Gallery in El Prado, NM, from September 15 – 29, 2017.
The public is invited to the opening reception at 4pm on Friday, September 15, 2017. There will be an Artists’ Talk on Sunday, September 24 at 4:30pm, moderated by Jina Brenneman, former curator at Harwood Museum of Art.
Hank Saxe’s ceramic sculpture resides at the intersection of art, technology and the Earth Sciences. He describes his artwork as “consequences of investigations into processes and materials”. Saxe’s mastery of artisanal, industrial and architectural ceramic applications is manifested in artwork that merges biomorphic and anthropomorphic forms with landscapes and architecture. Hank Saxe’s new sculpture continues his exploration of properties intrinsic to natural clays and minerals, some of which are gathered from sites within New Mexico and Arizona.
Dora Dillistone ventures into the southwestern landscape to garner an onsite interaction between time, natural elements (including the creaturely), and climate. Having dedicated her life to a creative process grounded in constant experimentation and change, Dillistone has set aside the traditional tools of art-making in favor of a collaboration in which she chooses the base materials and location, and nature does the rest. Dillistone anchors large sheets of watercolor paper in ravines and other outdoor topographical locations, and allows the natural cycles of climate to “paint” the surface with colors and textures produced by sediment. Speaking about her current works on paper, Dillistone says: “These are literal landscapes made by the land and the elements and can never be repeated. I’m just the coordinator.”
Brian Shields’ life and work is an exploration and expression of human interaction with the natural world – from the Mediterranean of his roots to the Rocky Mountains of his chosen home. The critic Calvin Bedient has said of Shields’ paintings, “they give the illusion of an eternal way of seeing landscape as poetry. Shields sides with transitivity and marginality, with weeds against gardens. He has a positive, Thoreauvian feeling for wilderness.” Scale is important to Shields’ work -- from large 8ft paintings on canvas to small works on paper -- often combining oil, ink and graphite. Shields’ visual language includes the writing of the poet Sawnie Morris and is a coupling of energy and emotion in pursuit of discovery.