Monday, April 3, 2017

Local Art Scene: Elizabeth Kuth Artist Talk and a Homegrown Call for Art

A couple weeks back I had the opportunity to catch Elizabeth Kuth give an artist talk in the Morrison Gallery at the DAI. Catherine Meier opened by introducing the artist  and her exhibition, Rooted Expression. I'd heard her speak about her work in January at Studio 3 West and anticipated an interesting digression and was not disappointed.

Ms. Kuth began by noting that this was her first exhibition in 10 years. Having German roots, she noted that German Expressionism has been one of her influences, that it resonated with her. She works on canvas, working and re-working her large abstract forms so as to produce complex scratchings, collage-juxtapositions that depict and develop "the essence of human motion." Over time she took all this complex interactions of form and line and began to simplify it, to distill it to its essence.

Her talk had parallels to her work in that she produced word pictures at times that were nebulous and conceptual rather than concrete. "The idea of line on line began to speak to me," she said. She pointed at another piece and commented on how it depicted vessels, a womb, something about caves.

In many pieces there is a sense of play in her work, with something figurative happening. Because she lives alone in the woods, her children grown, her creative explorations conveyed her process of finding, as in a quest.

What's interesting when working in abstract forms is that things emerge which you didn't plan. Kuth, for example said at one point bones began to appear in her work. The interesting thing is that her father was a bone surgeon. She also saw rocks in her work, which made her ask how she was connected to primal times.

She went through a long period of questions with no answers and she searched for connections.

Carl Jung's writings speak of the myths and symbols of early peoples. While painting Kuth said liines and elements would begin to line up. The unconscious does the biggest part.

Hans Hoffman, she said, was another influence. He talked about "the search for the real."

Kuth noted that while painting she thinks in terms of relationships and movement, not objects. She builds layers, she said, "until something speaks to me. My process is to create with immediacy, a whimsical play of forms."

During a Q&A period afterwards she was asked, "How hard is it to work large?" To this she replied, "I'm having a hard time going back to small."

She was then asked to discuss her drawing. In response she discussed her daily ritual of doing 10 automatic drawings every morning to start the day. "I feel closer to my sketches.... very intimate." She shared that drawing was also therapeutic. "Let yourself be reckless. Drawing is immediate."

In response to a third question she stated that "abstraction produces a more interior feel" as we are detached from the world of objects. Drawing provides sanity by placing her in the present.

Her show, Rooted Expression, will remain on display at the Duluth Art Institute in the Depot till next weekend.

PRØVE Gallery Sends Out Call

Do you remember their first opening in 2011?
PRØVE Gallery is calling for painters, graphic designers, illustrators, writers and all types of artists to create or recreate their ideal Homegrown Music Festival concert poster or show setlist. The imagery can be from your favorite Homegrown Music Festival moment, venue, band(s), Twin Cities Invasion, Iron Range Invasion, Superior Night or a complete fictional show that you always wished was part of Homegrown Music Festival.

Tell your friends, your mom and any other person who likes to design their dream-team poster.

Attached to this email are all the details concerning:

Deadline, how to submit, day of the show and more details concerning the concept of the show.

For any other questions, feel free to inquire to:

Check out this PRØVE Flashback, The gallery has made good on its promise to bring something new and different to the Twin Ports arts scene.

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Open your eyes.

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