Jackson Hole News & Guide
By Tibby Plasse
Artist Anastasia Kimmett is often asked how long her pieces take to complete. She doesn’t have an answer.
Kimmett’s precise geometric cuts deconstruct and reconstruct the natural landscape with delicate use of color and detail, and though the artist said it requires perseverance, the result is always worth it.
“Deconstruction is enjoyable in that all the hidden moments, the intricate details in every tiny square, are revealing themselves as I dissect the work,” she said in an email. “However, the process is quite long and laborious. It requires the manual use of a straight blade and a lot of patience, but the visual and conceptual results of this step are worth it in the end.”
Kimmett’s “The Nature of Reality” series opens this week at Diehl Gallery and was prompted by a desire to continue exploring a method the artist had developed for a previous collection that begins with a photograph taken in nature.
“The method used for this series evolved from there because I didn’t want to simply recreate mother nature’s compositions,” she said. “Rather, I wanted the works to be born completely of imagination. To solve the problem of photographing places that don’t exist in reality, I had to create them.”
She said the method was inspired by two clichés: You create your own reality, and reality is what you make of it.
The highly technical vignettes of reconstructed forests are matched by a new artist to Diehl’s roster, Wendy Klemperer. Klemperer’s upcycled broad-shouldered sculptures of bison, cawing ravens and bugling elks take form from what’s left behind.
Klemperer’s “Salvaged Beasts” come from old oil tanks and rebar but pay close attention to organic and anatomical features in the animals they represent.
“To make the sculptures, I scavenge scrap yards and construction sites for evocatively shaped pieces of metal, looking for pre-existing lines and shapes with which to draw,” she told the gallery.
“Pulled from the concrete for recycling, it is tortuously twisted, with fantastic curves and shapes, and comes in a great variety of texture and thickness,” she said in her exhibit statement. “Bent and twisted, such pieces contain energy and a potential new life. A network of steel lines builds a skeletal form containing both presence and absence.”
Klemperer’s art manipulates reality and naturalism imposing layers of conversation on forms that are predominantly stark silhouettes. Animals’ body language is deliberate and ghostly. Constructing endangered species from materials that do not disintegrate, Klemperer’s upcycled skeletons invite the viewer to choose the story.
“Salvaged Beasts” and “The Nature of Reality” will run congruently at the gallery with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday. A portion of both shows’ sales will benefit the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation.