Women, Nature, Science: Kim Cridler: The Descriptive Line

March 13, 2016 - June 5, 2016

KimCridler_BurOak detail kendall
Field Study 15: Bur Oak (detail), 2011

Women, Nature, Science
Kim Cridler: The Descriptive Line
March 13-June 5, 2016

Artist Talk: Friday, May 27, 2016 at 1:30 pm. This event is free.

Trained as a metalsmith, Kim Cridler creates works that utilize the history, making, and meaning of objects of utility and ornamentation. Cridler uses drawing as a practice of "noticing," and this directly informs her recent work, in which the steel wire or rod becomes a line of inquiry into form, content, and the potential of narrative. The works on display at Lynden include "Field Study 15: Bur Oak" (2011), a large-scale sculpture of a branch draped across an architectural steel vessel that occupies much of the gallery floor. At the end farthest from the vessel, the branch continues to shed its paper-thin bronze leaves. "Field Study 16: Felled Mulberry" (2012), stands outside the entrance to the gallery, and again examines the relationship between the natural and the man-made. These and the other urns and bowls in the exhibition--formed from intersecting lines of steel--signal function but, with their wide open spaces, steadfastly avoid it. Hidden among the smaller objects and vessels are butterflies, bees, snakes, berries and flowers fabricated in a variety of materials that call attention to their narrative and ornamental functions.

Cridler's exhibition at Lynden has been arranged in conjunction with the ZOOM symposium, May 25-May 29. Over the course of four days, 250 makers, writers and innovators will gather at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and venues around the city for lectures, hands-on workshops, exhibitions, and panel discussions.

Kim Cridler will deliver the symposium's keynote address, "The Descriptive Line," on Wednesday, May 25, 7:30-8:30 pm at the Peck School of the Arts Kenilworth Square East building, 1915 East Kenilworth Place, 6th floor. This lecture is free and open to the public. Architect Sim Van der Ryn wrote of ten patterns that make up our physical world at all scales including lattices, meanders, and the fractal. How does craft, rarely original yet always in motion, inform how and why we make? This talk will reflect on the conceptual and formal interests Cridler has drawn from the decorative arts, vernacular art forms, and ideas about craft. She will touch on issues of repetition, ideas about beauty and originality, and the essential struggle towards change in the development of her studio and public art works. More information here: http://www.zoommilwaukee.com/lectures/.

In the back of the house we are exhibiting watercolors by Dudley Crafts Watson (1885-1972), the first director of the Milwaukee Art Institute (1913-1924), the forerunner of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Watson, a painter, art critic and lecturer, was born in Lake Geneva and moved to Chicago as a small child. When he returned to Wisconsin to assume the directorship, he was already a well-known art lecturer who had completed several national tours. In 1924, back in Chicago, he became the guardian of the young Orson Welles following the death of the future filmmaker's mother, one of Watson's cousins. Watson joined the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago after completing two years of study there. He returned to the faculty after his time in Milwaukee, and was known for his marine and floral landscapes. The Milwaukee Sentinel of November 9, 1913, identified Watson as the "creator of the music picture symphony," and all four of the abstract watercolors on view, dating from 1963, have musical themes.

Read Kat Minerath on the exhibition in the Wisconsin Gazette.

About the Artist

Kim Cridler has applied her use of steel, structure and ornament in large-scale public art projects and commissions for public spaces. She was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, earned an MFA in Metals from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and studied at Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting. Cridler has taught in art programs across the country including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, San Diego State University, Arizona State University, and the Penland School of Crafts. More information: http://www.kimcridler.com/

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