Lewis deSoto: 
ARBOR/ARDOR

ExhibitionsChandra Cerrito Contemporary

Lewis deSoto: 
ARBOR/ARDOR

Feb 3 — Mar 30, 2017

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Exhibition dates: February 3 – March 30, 2017
Preview and Artist Talk: Thursday, February 2, 6-7:30 pm
Moderated by Lucía Sanromán, Visual Arts Director, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Opening Reception: Friday, February 3, 6-8 pm
First Friday Reception: Friday, March 3, 6-8 pm

Chandra Cerrito Contemporary is pleased to announce ARBOR/ARDOR February 3 through March 30, 2017. The exhibition presents four of Lewis deSoto’s works spanning three decades. The selected pieces reveal deSoto’s deep-seated interest in the relationship between nature and the human body, human action and consciousness. Perhaps due in part to his Native American ancestry, deSoto’s works express a reverence for, as he describes it, “the endless expanse of the landscape.”  Two recent works – a photograph entitled “Seven Minutes at Trinity Road, Sonoma (2007-2016)” and a single-channel video, “Witness” (2009) – represent the artist’s physical presence within two different groves of trees. DeSoto’s time spent in stillness observing the landscape for periods long enough to capture seventy-six individual frames later stitched together in one hyper high-resolution color photograph, or to create a twenty-minute video of the artist standing in a single position, becomes a meditation shared with the viewer.

While in these later works deSoto’s interaction with the landscape is as passive observer and recorder, his earliest featured work, “Das Waldsterben 2” (1984), incorporates performance in the landscape, something the artist has explored since the 1970s, soon after artists like Dennis Oppenheim and Richard Long began making ephemeral marks and forms outdoors. This large-scale silver gelatin print depicts a tree trunk being wrapped in sheet metal, a comment on forests dying from industrial fallout. In a blend of sculpture and photography, metal shavings adhere to the print surface to articulate the tree’s bark, and the portrayed sheet metal is inlaid in the artist-made frame. “Silver Maple” (1987) places an element of nature – the stenciled ghost image of a maple leaf – within the palm of the artist’s hand. In this simple action two five-spoke and veined forms, the human hand and the leaf, are integrated into one, suggesting a common essence.

Image: Lewis deSoto, Seven Minutes at Trinity Road, Sonoma, CA, 09.21.2007, 2007-2016, color photograph comprised of 76 individual frames, edition 1 of 7, 38 x 38″, Courtesy of the Artist and Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland

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