Nellie Appleby, Allison Matherly, Cristina Lei Rodriguez
What we refer to as civilized society has long struggled with the natural world. Not to say that what humans do is unnatural, but many times it goes against nature. We impose our will and work tirelessly to control it—often times for good and other times for purely selfish reasons.
For this project Dimensions Variable was interested in working with artists that take their inspiration from natural forms, sometimes even using nature itself to develop a new narrative about our connection with it. Lately we have been considering the idea of place as two different things—a physical and a psychological. Most of our own practices engage these places within the urban, architectural and the socio-economic but not our relation to the natural world.
Including Cristina Lei Rodriguez was the first idea as she has a long history of blending the natural with the synthetic. In her practice these two world’s collide and more often than not, the human synthetic emerges victorious. However, there is always a trace of nature that is able to remain in our minds as a faint reminder of its true supremacy in the grand scheme of things. Nellie Appleby on the other hand, seems to celebrate nature by either inviting it into the exhibition space or documenting it in a series of video and photographic exposures. Appleby’s work allows us a lens into the places she explores and the plants she cultivates on a regular basis. Allison Matherly brings us an interest in imitation of natural forms. Often her works takes the shape of rocky surfaces giving the illusion of the actual form but playing with the color and material to produce something that is completely synthetic.
Cristina Lei Rodriguez
Cristina Lei Rodriguez was born in Miami, FL in 1974, and lives and works in Miami, FL. The objects Rodriguez creates are abstract sculptures, made from common materials that are given a new intangible life. The sculptures are organic and minimalist, yet finished in a pristine and polished manner; echoing the tension between the natural and the artificial. Her sculptures have been exhibited nationally and internationally at museums and galleries such as the Astrup Fearnely Museum of Modern art, the Miami Art Museum, Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin (Paris, Miami), Team Gallery and Brand New Gallery. Reviews other work can be found in Modern Painters, The New York Times, Financial Times, Wallpaper, The New Yorker and Arte al Día International. Her work is also currently included in GOLD at the Bass Museum of Art on Miami Beach.
Nellie Appleby is and artist, anthropologist and plant lover/explorer. She holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and has exhibited extensively in the USA and Mexico. Appleby spent this past winter 2014 on a farm in rural Colombia at the artist residency Residencia En La Tierra. Here she was investigating Colombian plant life along with the rituals and traditions surrounding the flora. She exhibited with Dimensions Variable in 2010 with her plant based show titled ‘Biophilia’ and is so pleased to return to Miami to work with Dimensions Variable at Artspace.
Allison Matherly (b.1990) lives and works in Miami Beach, FL. Her work has been exhibited at several venues including the The Howard Art Project, Grossman Gallery, BAG Gallery and The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, The 5th Business Project in Woodstock, VT and most recently at LMNT Studios in Miami, FL. Matherly received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in conjunction with Tufts University in 2012 where she received numerous awards including the 2012 Sculpture Award, Deborah H. Dhuly Grant, Faculty Endowed Fund Grant, and Merit Scholarships.