Reviews

Lisa Sette Gallery Opens 30th Season with "The Brief Forever" in Phoenix

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See also: New Lisa Sette Gallery in Phoenix is a Step Above the Rest

Ethereal, mundane. Trapped, freed. Isolated, joined. Broken, whole. Artificial, organic. Transient, permanent. They're all reflected in this grouping of works, which convey the co-existence and mutual dependence of seemingly disparate elements in the natural world.

Kratz gathers grasses, seeds, shells, vertebra, pods, insect parts, and other bits of nature that others seldom notice. Many of these objects are carefully arranged and coated with several layers of transparent resin, sometimes tinted, to create blocks, towers, orbs, and panels.

Bordered on both sides by concrete walls while descending steps leading to the exhibition space, gallery goers see only a single piece of art: Kratz's I Think I Grow Tensions, a 2014 resin and poppy pods on panel piece that mirrors the sort of mental mirage typically associated with the poppy's hallucinogenic properties.

Hundreds of circles fill the 36-by-36-inch square, like blood cells on a specimen slide or empty wrappers left inside a candy box after all its chocolates have been consumed. It appears at first to be a painting, but closer inspection reveals the depth created by layers of resin, strategically sanded at various stages. Often this sanding reveals details of objects not apparent on the surface -- a bit like time roughs away our superficiality to manifest more of who we truly are as we age.

Such details are most evident here in Kratz's 60-by-60-inch Across the Velvet Dark 2, a 2013 resin, shells, vertebra, and Navajo tea on panel piece. Enveloped by deep mossy green, they conjure images of dandelion seeds dispersed by the wind or gentle puff of air from a child's pursed lips. Others may see particles surrounding the nucleus of a cell, or cosmological processes akin to our own "big bang."

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble