Kindred Virtuosities: Recent Work by Miki Baird, Garry Noland, and Susan WhiteSeptember 26 - December 22, 2015 Admission
Kindred Virtuosities is an exhibition of diverse artworks by three artists whose studios are located in Kansas City—Miki Baird, Garry Noland, and Susan White. Although clearly individual, the exhibits by this group of three share a number of characteristics that mark them as compatible and complementary explorations. Among their common strategies is the embrace of non-art materials and alternative processes and a facility for working in both two and three dimensions. Shared formal procedures include layering, systematic organization, and mass replication. Miki Baird alternates between meticulously designed photographic assemblages of thousands of images and enormous accumulations of shredded junk mail, collected from the mailbox of one address. Both of her endeavors engage everyday phenomena by weaving together the designs and repetitions inherent in the quotidian. Garry Noland forges links between pattern, process, and transformation. His large-scale duct-tape collages engage the vocabulary of vintage domesticity—peeling layers of aged wallpaper or linoleum flooring, say, or the controlled randomness of a crazy quilt. This embrace of the abject and found object continues in his series of Failed Monuments, where large nuggets of reclaimed dock foam are resuscitated by a partial gilding with golden adhesive tape. Finally, Susan White is engaged primarily with pyrography and “thorn works”—three-dimensional assemblages made from the thorns of the honey locust tree. Her pyrographs, large drawings on thick rag paper, are made with the use of a burning tool with which White creates drifting galaxies of many small marks that become poetic evocations of constellations or cells or prayer. Her thorn sculptures, in their accumulation, have a more architectural character, although the right-angle alignment of thorn to branch creates a cubistic tracery that relates as much to drawn lines as it does to constructed forms.