Monday, August 17, 2009

Last Week to See Cook, Crawford, Linder Exhibitions

Lia Cook, Traces: Amuse, 2003, 99 x 54 inches, cotton, woven, Jacquard power loom, multiple color warp rotation, lent by the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

This is the final week to see three summer exhibitions at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. Scheduled to close on Sunday, August 23 are Lia Cook: The Embedded Portrait, Ralston Crawford: Lithographs and Photographs, and Tracy Linder: Tractor Hides. These will come down in preparation for new fall exhibitions, which open on September 11.

Lia Cook: The Embedded Portrait is the first exhibition to examine in depth the multifaceted aspects of Cook’s embedded portraits. Drawn from different bodies of work, twenty woven hangings depicting larger-than-life children illustrate Lia Cook’s exploration of the visual and physical realm where photographic likeness and textured textile meet. Cook takes the venerable early 19th-century Jacquard weaving technique into uncharted territory, wedding it to sophisticated computer programs. Beginning with slides, photographs, or video stills, she develops her imagery, couples it with digital technology, and creates specifically designed weaves that allow her to build the image thread by thread.

Ralston Crawford: Lithographs and Photographs includes the five lithographs and ten photographs by Crawford that were recently acquired by the Art Museum. The exhibition is enhanced by additional works on loan from the artist’s son, Neelon Crawford. Collectively, the exhibition reveals Crawford’s skill and artistic eye for rendering subjects in a language of planes, lines, and shapes. The underlying emphasis on structure in his work indicates his deeply intellectual, almost analytical approach, coupled with personal reaction and experience. The subjects and style of his lithographs and photographs reflect these two approaches.

Tracy Linder: Tractor Hides consists of fourteen individual “hides” that are stood on end and lit from within, creating pod-like forms. Using animal collagen as the primary material, photographic images of the land, plants, farm machinery, humans, and animals are embedded into the collagen and formed over the treads of splayed tractor tires. They embody Linder’s interest in life, death, and decay. Tractor Hides honors family farms while bringing to the fore the political and economic shifts that are changing this way of life. The sculptures resonate with a sense of ritual and tradition of farming and ranch life.

Be sure you make it to the Art Museum this week to see these three incredible exhibitions before they close! For more information, please call 307.766.6622.

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