VARIATIONS: NEW COLLAGE AND MIXED MEDIA WORK BY KATE RIVERS TELLS PERSONAL TALES
Kate Rivers’ collage and mixed media works have always been autobiographical, but in her upcoming exhibition “Variations”, showing at the Matthews Gallery from June 14 through June 27, the Santa Fe artist pulls personal associations from some of the world’s most beloved books.
Rivers was born in Youngstown, Ohio. She got her BFA degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design and completed her graduate studies in painting and printmaking at the University of South Carolina. Now she lives and works full-time in Santa Fe.
The artist is known for her intricate collages, which incorporate fragments of found objects that are often considered garbage. Maps, old letters, cancelled stamps, ticket stubs and other materials are the subjects of swirling compositions resembling bird nests. In these semi-abstract planes, questions of memory, identity and time collide as bits of rubbish tell the story of the person who left them behind.
“The work is structurally dense, complex, and is an autobiographical statement,” Rivers says. “Home and space become synonymous with memory, loss and nostalgia.”
In her latest series of mixed media works, Rivers spins her meditations on the self in a new direction. Stitching together the spines of old books, she simultaneously forms striking abstract color compositions and interweaves written universes both real and fictional.
In one piece, the spines of Basil King’s “The Inner Shrine” and a book of poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson form a vertical vein of scarlet. “Modern Artists on Art” engages in dialogue with the nearby “Religion & Art in Conflict”. “iPod & iTunes for Dummies” and “The Best of the World’s Classics” become humorously contrasting neighbors. When arranged in such close quarters, the titles provoke old memories and new connections in the viewer. The experience is as universal as it is deeply personal.
“Variations” features work from Rivers’ collage series and her mixed media book series. The public is invited to meet Kate Rivers and view her works at an artist’s reception on Friday, June 14 from 5-7 pm. The exhibition runs from June 14 through June 27.
Download: Kate Rivers- "Variations"- June 14-27