Growth / Overgrowth
“Growth/Overgrowth” was installed at the Oxbow Gallery, Northampton, MA in November, 2018. Implemented in collaboration with Mary Bernstein and Harriet Diamond, the piece investigates and makes manifest the contradictory experience of one family of the anticipated birth of a first grandchild in counterpoint to receiving the news of a re-occurrence of stage four cancer. The artists manipulate natural material to create an environment representing unchecked growth that has gone awry.
I keep finding myself in the place I am.
Muller brings photographs suspended mid-air together with an array of found and reclaimed materials. Stone, discarded foundry glass, steel rod and rebar from demolished infrastructures, metal grid/mesh, and miscellaneous hanging/installation material find their way into this series, at Gallery A3, September, 2018. “I am pulled toward things that have had a ‘previous life, or function’. she says. For over 30 years, her studio practice has involved re-contextualizing discarded debris in constructions and assemblages. “I’m deeply interested in the reality that everything changes, and permanency is an illusion. Consequently, the primary focus of my work is embodying the sense of the ephemeral.
The Weight of Things
In this mixed-media installation at Gallery A3, Amherst in September, 2016, Muller explores the impact of force upon matter using found material. Force: real or implied, leaves a residue. It can be important, heavy, burdensome, loaded, biased, potent and powerful. Muller creates a visual dialogue between the maker and the material, the material and the viewer. She asks us to explore concepts associated with the weight of things. What does weight mean? how do things “weigh” on us? How do we tread lightly in the space between?
“Rise and Fall”, is the central mixed media sculptural installation by Rebecca Muller and Harriet Diamond, in the inaugural show at the Deerfield Academy Hess Art Center’s new von Auersperg Gallery, curated by Tim Trelease in September, 2015. The exhibition reveals the profound relationship -and subsequent responsibility- that exists between humans and the earth. The show highlights the notion of unconventional beauty, that invites viewers to reflect on the daunting question: “what impact are we having on this planet that we share?”
September 2014 at Gallery A3. An installation by Rebecca Muller of small constructions made from shards of metal, and site-specific constructions of rebar and wire mesh. The materials bear the marks of erosion, and carry the impact of time and weather on matter. Circular pieces, punctuated by long narrow marks, spiral across a long wall and form a kind of timeline. Muller’s work is often visually anchored by wire or cloth mesh that form a grid. Muller explores the concept of perceptual displacement: where we stand shifts the way we see things.
Bridges to Cross / Bridges to Burn
An installation with Mary Bernstein and Harriet Diamond. A.P.E. Gallery, Northampton, MA. November 9 – December 2, 2012
Time is a coil of netting unrolling our story, randomly snaring matter and memory in its path. It relentlessly captures some contents and releases others – the core obscured by the accumulation of memory and experience. Is this accretion a meaningful collection of treasures, or simply stories we tell ourselves to make the inevitable detritus of our lives special? Does it merit the memories or deserve to remain beyond our corporeal existence? If there comes a time when our carefully tended choices, our random paths become unsupportable, how do we puncture the net, clear the tangle, simplify, un-wind?
What if We Just Stopped Here
This Way, That
Mixed media installation, from the August 2013 group exhibit at Gallery A3.
The Other Side of the Bridge
Installation. April, 2013
The Other Side of the Bridge reuse and re-contextualize components from the original Bridges to Cross/Bridges to Burn, which premiered at the A.P.E. Gallery, Northampton, MA for the month of November 2012. We reconfigured some of the basic elements from the original installation: wire mesh “girders” wire balls, and clay figures, into several outdoor settings. The simple shift from a contained indoor space “framed” by walls to the relative “framelessness” of a natural environment with its diffused light, shifts the nuance of the elements. What was once, ominous and apocalyptic, now appears ethereal and other worldly.
This is What Happened…
Rebecca Muller and Harriet Diamond have known each other peripherally for over 20 years. We met through a mutual friend and both had studios for a while in the same Easthampton factory building. Over the years, we crossed paths in a friendly way and visited one another’s shows from time to time. Harriet works in mixed media, allowing the grittiness of material to shine in an equal way to the narrative/representational content of her assemblages. I had just seen her installation at the Ox Bow reflecting on the implications of our current wars and the political climate. I make constructions from mixed media and pigments, often focused around a “grid” element, and constructed primarily with found material. I like to push the edges of perception to create a visual ambiguity, that shifts depending on the viewers’ physical distance and perspective. I wanted to incorporate some of her figures into a piece, made from some distinctive material I have found, for this show. Harriet was intrigued enough to come over and look at my “assemblage” elements. Harriet confesses that she’s always thought that if she ”didn’t work figuratively with a narrative theme, she’d work like me.” I confessed the same. I like the humbleness of Harriet’s material, the raw energetic way she creates environments, and simply articulated figures that throw out a particular kind of open-ended emotion. This is what ensued….