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Today we visit our last studio for our Summer 2014 tour with sculptor, Suzanne Torres, at the Art Lofts Building, which houses graduate and professor studios at UW-Madison.
Her work borrows elements from our physical and natural surroundings and reinterprets them through scale and abstraction. It brings to mind natural phenomenon, unearthed relics, built environments, and the act of transformation. She creates large-scale sculpture and installation that have an evocative presence – suspended from the ceiling, traversing wall and floor, or enveloping the viewer – they appear to exist in a realm of time somewhere between birth and collapse, both degrading and emerging before our eyes.
Constructed from common materials such as clay, rope, wood, cardboard, and cement, her work responds to natural and manmade landscapes, breeding both familiarity and instability. Often exceeding human scale, the work has a physical presence that translates as a spatial experience- it elicits an emotive response from the viewer and explores the body’s interaction with space.
Channeling opposing forces of structure and collapse, her work exists in a state of flux, conjuring notions of transformation and evolution. In utilizing unfired clay there exists a tension between solidity and fragility. The potential for breakdown and ultimate recycling of much of her work signifies its temporal existence.
Suzanne Torres (b.1982, New Jersey) received her BA in Art from Monmouth University in 2008 and was a Post-Baccalaureate student in sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute. She participated in additional studies at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy and the Metáfora International Workshop in Barcelona, Spain as a yearlong resident. Most recently she participated in the Open Studio Residency at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and received a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center for the summer of 2014. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Torres is a third-year Ceramics graduate and MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.
Today’s trip takes us to Oskaloosa, Iowa.
My paintings are a right-brained approach to observing, dissecting, and recording the objective subject matter found in the lakes, rivers, prairies, and forests of south central Iowa. As my intimacy with the land surrounding me evolves, so do my approaches for depicting the complexities of varying terrains and the plants and animals that occupy them.
Each of my gouache paintings is a fictitious ecosystem that has been broken down into a series of vignettes. Each vignette describes the decay, growth, and interaction between the flora and fauna of that imagined place. Although bold colors, re- peating patterns, and flattened space make the paintings appear fantastic in nature, each scene is based off an observation.
I am constantly inspired by the complexities of the natural world. My work is an ever evolving narrative about the interconnectedness of all things and the functions of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
Jane Garrett Ryder was born and raised in the fine state of Illinois. In 2005 she received her BFA from Bradley University and went on to earn her MFA at Northern Illinois University four years later. In 2009 Ryder moved from Northern Illinois to South Central Iowa; where she can be found tromping through various muddy environments in search of fossils, arrowheads, and new artistic content. Her change from an urban environment to a rural setting has influenced her paintings in many significant ways. A deeper understanding of the interactions between man, animal, plant, dirt, water, and sun have affected the content and compositions of Ryders body of work.