Earthly Wonders

By on April 12, 2018

Landscape-inspired art from different corners of the world hang in new show

Tuck Fauntleroy’s aerial imagery of thawing landscapes and pieces by Xawery Wolski premiere Friday at Tayloe Piggott Gallery.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – There is a moment in the spring when the landscape transitions, when the rivers break free of ice and snow slowly retreats from the banks. Yet remnants of winter linger. That is when Tuck Fauntleroy, armed with a camera, takes to the sky. For more than a decade, he’s been photographing from a plane, capturing remote rivers in areas of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the spring to create his ongoing series “Waterline.”

Images from the Jackson-based photographer’s series hang in a new exhibit at Tayloe Piggott Gallery. The show coincides with the opening of an exhibition by sculptor Xawery Wolski.

“It’s a really interesting combination,” Sophie Schwabacher, gallery manager at Tayloe Piggott, said.

Wolski is a Polish artist who now works in Mexico. His work, alongside Fauntleroy’s images of the Greater Yellowstone, brings two worlds together.

Work from both artists in the gallery is primarily monotone in color, Schwabacher said. Both artists’ work is tied to the Earth.

“Aesthetically they really do have this nice rhythm together,” she said.

Wolski is exhibiting work from two series, inspired by the natural world. Born in 1960 in Warsaw, Poland, the artist left his country, then under the communist regime, to study in Paris. He established his studio in 1997 in Mexico City, where he continues to work, splitting his time between Mexico and Poland.

“Rebozo” features work made in terracotta, inspired by traditional Mexican rebozos, the flat garments worn to provide shade from the sun or insulate against the cold. Each work is comprised of thousands of handmade terracotta beads, made individually from clay, shaped by hand. Wolski fires the beads in a kiln and knots them on strings which he weaves together.

“It’s this really meditative, patient, exhausting work to create a full piece,” Schwabacher said. “When you see them, you really read the texture of the work. You really have the sense of the artist’s hand in the work.”

The sculptures hang on the wall. All are monotone in color, except for one red piece.

Wolski’s other series, “Saos,” is represented by two trees cast in bronze and coated with a white patina.

“It works with the idea of things that are eternal,” Schwabacher said.

Wolski tries to capture the tree’s soul, not just create a physical replica. The work complements Fauntleroy’s. Both artists are exploring the same subject matter—the natural world and trees—but in a different way, Schwabacher said.

“Both of these pieces also feel like they have a timeless sense to them,” she said. “There is a beautiful and eternal feeling in the work.”

Fauntleroy is originally from Maryland. He grew up visiting the ocean, observing how it impacted everything, Schwabacher said. He became interested in water itself. In Jackson, he was again drawn to water, this time the rivers that create dynamic lines across the landscape. He began to photograph the landscape from the air about a decade ago. He finds diverse aerial perspectives with rivers, trees and swaths of snow lingering in spring.

“There is a point where it really does feel like someone just drew it on paper. It creates such an amazing dynamic composition,” Schwabacher said. “People wonder if it’s a painting or a photograph and that’s such an interesting way as an artist he displaces you as a viewer.”

Fauntleroy is a photographer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek and other outlets.

His work will resonate with people in Jackson, who will see a familiar landscape, but through a new lens, Schwabacher said. People tend to look at his photographs and try to place the spot he’s captured.

“He’s an interesting artist because he does bridge this gap of having really beautiful, elevated contemporary fine art photography,” Schwabacher said. “But he’s also capturing a place everyone here is familiar with.” PJH

An opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Tayloe Piggott Gallery.

 

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