Racine Art Museum Announces Kim Cridler My Wisconsin Home

The Racine Art Museum presents Kim Cridler: My Wisconsin Home, on view July 31, 2011 – July 22, 2012, in RAM’s Windows on Fifth Gallery

Using steel and bronze, as well as organic materials such as beeswax, bone, hair and mother-of-pearl, Kim Cridler creates vessel forms that connect her interests in history, craft, ornament and function with an investigation of material and metaphor. Comprised of several sculptural works utilizing patterns and motifs based on the environment around Cridler’s current residence, My Wisconsin Home also references “open storage areas in museums that facilitate the formal and cultural study of objects and their histories.”

Skeletal vases and urns-built with a systematic grid as a frame and augmented with stylized flora and fauna-evoke historical shapes while denying the uses commonly associated with the objects. The grid itself contributes to the ornamentation of the vessel and Cridler’s addition of flowers, bees, fish, birds, mice and plants further enhances a juxtaposition of shape and form while simultaneously offering content.

For this Windows at RAM installation, Cridler presents a collection of patterned and ornamented vessels on shelving structures that echo the storage areas of some cultural institutions. The shelves establish a literal and metaphorical framework, allowing for a certain kind of study and examination, as well as a means of collecting and cataloguing. Cridler’s careful observation of the environment and natural life around her Wisconsin home provides inspiration for materials, patterns and motifs. As Cridler notes, the ornamentation is “based on sketches and studies made during [a] daily practice of collecting plant material and insect life from the gardens, fields and prairies.”

This work was made possible in part by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School with funding provided by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) through income generated by patents filed through WARF by UW-Madison faculty and staff, as well as a Vilas Associates award funded by the Vilas Trust.

My Wisconsin Home is made possible at Racine Art Museum by: Presenting Sponsors – Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, RAM Society, Jay Price Ruffo, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. and Windgate Charitable Foundation; Gold Sponsors – Helen Bader Foundation, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Racine Community Foundation, Inc., Racine United Arts Fund and Wisconsin Arts Board; Silver Sponsors – Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation and W.T. Walker Group, Inc.; Bronze Sponsors – Clifton Gunderson LLP, CNH America LLC, In Sink Erator, Knight-Barry Title, Inc. and Real Racine.

Image: Kim Cridler Pail with Fish, 2010 Steel, bronze and mother-of pearl 52 x 32 inches Photography: Jim Escalant


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