Morrison Gallery | June 8–September 23, 2022
Artist Reception/Talk: June 8
Installation artists Steven Lemke and Kelsie Ward build environments that question how we locate ourselves within natural and human-made landscapes. Materials sourced from the construction industry including polystyrene, cast resin, and plywood bring together Lemke and Ward’s themes of place, perspective, and our increasingly constructed reality. They explain, “[We] explore the tension between inside and outside, natural and artificial, and handmade and digital.”
Ward’s abstract sculptures mimic rocks and glaciers but are constructed from materials chosen based on their synthetic properties. Fabricated textures and colors emerge from the ground with digitally-inspired, two-dimensional matrices of triangles. Ward encourages viewers to examine the definition of nature with artificial, organic forms in an indoor setting.
Lemke constructs elevated environments referencing real-life housing plots, property lines, and roadways. Over 100 laser cut ladders adorn landscape fragments and reference historical artworks including late 12th-century icon Ladder of Divine Ascent and Martin Puryear’s Ladder for Booker T. Washington. Lemke’s installations appear precarious, evoking a chaotic quality that puts urban planning and suburban sprawl into question.
Steven Lemke and Kelsie Ward are both award-winning midwest-based artists. Lemke holds an MFA in Sculpture from Notre Dame and BA in Studio Art from St. John’s University. Ward earned her MFA from Southern Illinois University and BA in Economics and Psychology from the College of St. Benedict.
This exhibition is supported by the Depot Foundation.