Boesky West gallery to open ‘Tonic of Wildness’ show in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Boesky West gallery to open ‘Tonic of Wildness’ show in Aspen

Staff report

Gunther Uecker, "Trees from One Trunk," 2009-2015.

Marianne Boesky's Boesky West gallery is opening a new, nature-themed show this week.

Titled "Tonic of Wildness," the exhibition will include works by Pier Paolo Calzolari, Donald Moffett and Günther Uecker in what the gallery is billing as "an international and generational exploration of the natural environment's influence on the creative process."

Taking its title from a phrase in Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," "Tonic of Wildness" highlights how these three artists are inspired by nature and incorporate the organic into their work. It includes Calzolari's signature works composed of elemental materials, new extruded and resin wall works by Moffett, and several of Uecker's nail-relief works as well as his acclaimed tree trunk sculptures.

"The work of these artists is undeniably distinct, profound and mesmerizing in its individual vision and execution," Boesky said in an exhibition announcement. "Yet when their work is viewed together, there is a fascinating overlap in narrative and shared creative intimacy with the natural world."

As one of the original members of the Arte Povera movement, Calzolari embraced the use of readily available, nontraditional materials such as salt, lead, moss and neon in his artworks. Over his decades-long career, the artist has continued to explore states of matter, transience and beauty through his choice of materials and containment of the exothermic processes of freezing and combustion.

Moffett will present several new works in Tonic of Wildness, all completed in the past year and informed by the logic of botany with its diversity of structure, surface and instinctual attraction.

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Uecker's nail-relief pieces in the show range from the geometric order of the nails in his "Serial Nail Object" (1968) to the flowing curves of bent nails in his more recent "Violations-Connections" (2012), where the nails resemble messy handwriting scrawled across a page. The exhibition will also include Uecker's "Bäume" sculptures, for which the artist covered tree trunks with nails and ash, merging the industrial with the organic.

"'Tonic of Wildness' highlights the ongoing dialogue with nature across their practices, while also inviting audiences to experience and engage with the aesthetic quality and intricacy of the work," Boesky said. "By bringing together a diversity of artists, in and outside of our program, Boesky West continues to foster conversation about interesting conceptual and formal approaches in contemporary art."

IF YOU GO …

What: ‘Tonic of Wildness,’ Pier Palo Calzolari, Donald Moffett, Günther Uecker

Where: Boesky West

When: Opening reception Dec. 14, 2-6 p.m.; on view through Feb. 11

More info: http://www.marianneboeskygallery.com

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