Harding/Kendall

From Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program

Artists: Tim Harding and Gail Kendall
February 2 – April 12, 1987

An exhibition of garments by Tim Harding and vessels by Gail Kendall. Harding’s garments unify the painter’s surface with the structure of fabric. Through the dyeing, layering, quilting, slashing and fraying of coarsely woven cottons, Harding builds up a complex structure and mutilates its surface to reveal color, image and pattern. He strives to bridge the gap between art and life by creating “paintings” that can be worn. The garments featured in this exhibition range widely in sensibility, from the very elegant to the very “primitive”. The oversized ceremonial kimonos investigate the formal elements of decorative abstraction, while his landscape coats reflect his deepening interest in the painterly concerns of image-making. In contrast to the kimonos and landscape coats, the more recent “pelt” works suggest animal skins and allude to the magical and primal power of shamanic robes and tribal garments. Gail Kendall has long viewed her work as an extension of the human figure. Since 1982 her focus has been on the vessel. Kendall’s debt to the history of ceramics lies not with concerns about utility, but with the notion of vessel as metaphor and decorative object. Her hand-built pots emphasize symmetry, strength and grace, and suggest attitudes about containment, femaleness and physicality. Recent departures from the vessel form are Kendall’s ceramic “boats” and cat mummies and a series of boat monotypes. Like the vessel, these works function as physical extensions of the human body and mind. Imbued with archetypal reference to passage and reincarnation, these haunting forms are rooted in the spirit and mysticism of ancient civilizations.

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