The artists featured both explore themes of nature. Individually, each series of work offers a different perspective on the natural world: fascination and optimism, vs. concern and protection. Together, though, the works offer a dialogue on how precious nature is, and, in turn, the need to protect it.
Steven Kinder is a multi-media artist who lives and works in NYC. He attended Cooper Union, and has been making paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and “tarps” for over 40 years.
Kinder’s work expresses energy, form, movement, and getting at the essence of something. His paintings explore a fascination with dynamic tension and movement found in nature. Tornadoes, tidal pools, sunbursts, black holes, combustion, organic symmetry, and fractals are among the sources of these deeply saturated and mostly large-scale works.
The artist’s paintings employ raw pigment, acrylic, pencil, and crayon to express the radiant vitality of the natural forces that inspire him. He applies raw pigment in veils with gestural strokes that are layered and thinned with water. The result is color that is somehow both flat yet translucent and illuminated throughout all at once.
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Seán Slemon has been living and working in Brooklyn, New York since 2005. He is recognized for addressing socio-political issues pertaining to the commoditization and distribution of natural resources. Formally trained in sculpture, the artist primarily builds and fabricates sculptures himself using gypsum, fiberglass, and other materials. He embeds materials such as chalk, soil, and concrete into his work to build physical and ideological layers and to create theoretical conflicts.
Part of Slemon’s “Origin Unknown (Africa)” series, the two sculptures here were created by selecting a species of tree from Africa, and using lumber from that species to build a solid representation of the shadow of the tree—a Sisyphean, or perhaps heroic, attempt to turn the lumber back into a shadow of the tree from which it comes—a mise en abyme of origin in multiple senses.
Individually honed by hand, these pieces signal a double return to the notion of originals and origins. The works circle back to Slemon’s original interest in natural light,trees, and other natural resources: the issues of accessibility to these precious, yet threatened elements.