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Lisa Matthias, Discarded Map

Lisa MatthiasDiscarded Map, woodcut on rice paper [Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary AB, Mar 24-May 7]

Lisa Matthias: Remnants

Christine Klassen Gallery
Calgary AB – Mar 24-May 7, 2016

Lisa Matthias, System Atlas 3

Lisa Matthias, Disentangle (2013), woodcut, chine collé [Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary AB, Mar 24-May 7]

Lisa Matthias, Building Blocks

Lisa Matthias, Building Blocks, woodcut on Thai mulberry paper [Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary AB, Mar 24-May 7]

A schism common to both Art and Science is that of the “lumper,” who seeks convergences, versus the “splitter,” who seeks differences in their respective subjects. The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson was a lumper, because he believed that the Universal Being running through him made him “part or particle of God”; the paleontologist Louis Leakey was a splitter, because the modern world demanded new discoveries. Artist Lisa Matthias’s method and conclusions place her somewhere in the middle.

Before completing her MFA in studio practice, Matthias worked as an ecologist. As such, she is familiar with the schism of lumping and splitting both in the study of plant biology and in the common concepts and materials of art making. As her website says, “The idea that everything is part of a larger assemblage, emphasized by the recognition of patterns and relatedness across species and scales of life, is a central theme in [her] work.”

Matthias’s current exhibition, Remnants, features a selection of large-scale black and white abstract images that owe as much to older methods of woodcut printing as they do to the more recent lens-based technologies. The new capabilities allow the artist to dig deeper into nature’s matrix for new patterns and textures. In works like Discarded Map (2016), for example, we see evidence of these explorations, not only in the ink marks but also in the wrinkled paper surfaces they evoke.

Michael Turner

Lisa Matthias, System Atlas 3

Lisa MatthiasSystem Atlas 3 (date), woodcut on Thai mulberry paper [Christine Klassen Gallery, Calgary AB, Mar 24-May 7]

 Tue, Apr 12, 2016