By Ana Vesnik
Phoenix-based artist Mayme Kratz is preparing for her first exhibition at Dolby Chadwick Gallery. She will present herself to the San Francisco audience with the show titled Lost Light that is inspired by Rebecca Solint’s book of poetic thoughts A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Much like Mayme Kratz’s work, the book evokes thoughts dissociated from familiar. Same as the blue light that got lost in Solint’s book, Kratz sees her inspiration as that blue light, ephemeral and fleeting. In her exhibition Lost Light Kratz will be showing her wall-mounted pieces in resin on panel coupled with a freestanding resin sculpture.
Mayme Kratz | Sunspot 2, 2014 | Resin and grass on panel | 36 x 36 inches
The Desert and Its Beauties
Despite its harsh conditions that are cruel on vegetation and living creatures, Mayme Kratz finds desolate Arizona desert as great source of inspiration. It is probably due to her childhood, spent in the San Diego’s rural outskirts where young Kratz first learned about the desert light and its vastness. It was in the same area that Kratz believed she will grow up to be a doctor, so she did her own little experiments, anatomical studies by excavating dead pets and small animals. Kratz is also passionate wanderer, collecting alongside the road, objects that most of the people would not have even noticed. But to Mayme Kratz these artifacts are collectable and usable for they capsulate the ephemeral world we live in. Following the legacy of Robert Rauschenberg, these collected things end up incorporated into her works. Mayme Kratz carefully separates them into smaller parts with special consideration on their aspects.
Mayme Kratz | Left: Circle Dream 48, 2013; Right: Circle Dream 58, 2015 | Left: Resin, Mexican buckeye seeds on panel; Right: Resin, snake vertebrae, deer bone on panel | Both 48 x 48 inches
Trivial Objects in Service of Mayme Kratz’s Art in Dolby Chadwick Gallery
Mayme Kratz finds her inspiration in the sky and universe. She has the ability to give stellar looks to something ordinary. Kratz achieves that shift of focus primary with the use of the found object that range from feathers, bones, seeds, tangled bird’s nests, road kill snakes, wings, etc. Kratz submerges them into resin to create the rhythmic movements and abstract sculptures or reliefs. She thinks of this practice of submerging her objects in multiple layers of resin similar to her burial rituals she had a child. This way Kratz collects tribute to the endless cycles of change and rebirth in nature that is her primary vehicle for explorations.
Mayme Kratz: Lost Light
Mayme Kratz’s works come from a place of uncertainty and potential. Her objects are stripped of their initial identity and purpose and put in a completely new context. This way Kratz’s viewers have a chance to see and feel familiar objects in a new way. Mayme Kratz sees her works as memento mori, derived from the tradition of painting skulls or decaying flowers and plants as a reminiscent of the brief and fleeting singularity of life. Yet, Kratz’s works are deeply meditative and contemplative. They encourage the observers to unearth some thoughts from the corners of their minds, much like Kratz unearths her found items. Mayme Kratz’s new exhibition Lost Light opens on June 4th 2015 and will be open until July 3rd 2015 at Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco.