May 1: This week, The Fourth Wall continues its series of interim online exhibitions by pairing works from the studios of two Bay Area artists, Carrie Lederer and Kim Bennett. Carrie’s solo show was to be installed in the gallery the week shelter-in-place began. We look forward to a rain check on that. Kim was scheduled for a two-person show this year, which has been rescheduled. This exhibition celebrates Spring 2020 through a conversation between the works of these two artists, each profoundly inspired by nature.
View the entire From the Studio series: I Devon McKnight and Manuel Angeja, II Nancy Youdelman and Victoria May, III Carrie Lederer and Kim Bennett, IV Sydney Cohen and Carlo Ricafort, V Mel Adamson and Alexandra Uchida, and VI Zach Bohny and Vered Gersztenkorn.
Carrie Lederer’s up-close encounter with nature begins each day with her journey through the family garden, a place that continues to inspire her wondrous nature-scapes.
“I am continually captured by nature’s sheer exuberance—a spectacle of complexity—beautiful, simple, and haphazard.
The science of fractals and patterns of chaos are particularly important to my work. While at first glance fractals might appear as a tangled disorder, there is an inherent structured composition embedded into this dynamic system. Fractals are complex geometric figures made up of patterns that repeat—each time on a smaller scale, and each smaller version referred to as a “self-similar ” form. They basically tell the story of the wild transformations in nature that are taking place on a daily basis, giving order to a chaotic world of energy and change.
The work is a response to these natural wonderments and I’m charmed and fascinated by nature’s intrinsic capacity to create and reproduce pattern—as both a source of imagery and as inspiration for my working process and studio practice.” – Carrie Lederer
The Fourth Wall’s previous online exhibition highlighted issues confronted by female artists in the 1970s, including the question of women’s work. In light of this, it is interesting to hear Kim Bennett speak of her “reimagined art history.”
“I operate within a reimagined art history — as if women’s work had always been considered important and need not be revised. This fictive history provides a jumping-off point for my painting and textile-based practice in which I explore two genres associated with female creative production: botanical watercolors and embroidery.
In my imaginary art history, painting and textiles have always been on equal footing. My embroideries in this context refer equally to the history of stitching and to the history of painting. The history of embroidery is full of plans and patterns, many of which are adaptations or copies of paintings. My embroideries use pattern but also run loose and unplanned. Pattern offers a promise of merging with one’s environment: an endless generative potential as well as an occasionally terrifying view of infinity. Allowing pattern to go wrong, off track, offers a jumping-off point between numbing coziness and terrifying infinity — a minute to think.
I place embroideries in the room with watercolors of flowers to let their relative values slip and dissolve. These botanical watercolors barely qualify as paintings in the contemporary sense, and that is why I’m interested in them. For me, works that exist on the border of “art” generate the most information about cultural value.” – Kim Bennett