April 11, 2021 Taos, New Mexico

The Harwood Museum of Art

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Sunday, April 1 - Sunday, April 29, 2018

Christa Marquez: 161, installation wall relief

Gallery: Studio 238
Detail of Gallery Installation, Christa Marquez, 161, 2018, Tumbleweed (Sisymbrium Altissium).
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The installation “161” is a 3D wall relief created with small tumbleweed twigs. This work speaks to themes of place and impermanence through its use of biodegradable, natu­ral, and local materials.

Marquez writes, “Light, small and easily transported to other geographic environments these materials res­onate with the elements of their origins of geography, climate and human influence, while attach­ing to the new environment in which they are re-installed. The exhibition wall becomes part of the piece. Foreign elements, wall and tumbleweed, join together to bridge time and place.”

Marquez continues in the artist statement, “The forms are essentially simple three-dimensional drawings made with natural materials, influenced by my long-standing love of “line” practiced over years of daily ink drawing in my sketchbook. It also represents “queer” elements and relationships through the employ of non-traditional materials casting same-but-different shadows.”

The forms are exceptionally light and free to tumble off of their support posts, moved by the forces of air currents in the exhibition space, by the forces of the movements of other beings.  Marquez remarks, “This reflects our undeniable effects on each other, our connection, our being part of one larger tapestry. The forms that fall on the floor are not forgotten or sterile. Much to the contrary, they are brave, surrendering to spirit. They take a leap to step outside of their box and seek out new ground, travel to new places, become part of a new story.”

Living barely “on grid” in northern New Mexico, Marquez’s 2-3D installations are imbued with biotic grids informed by cellular, landscape and celestial patterns. Using reclaimed and biological materials for their foundations such as discarded textiles, found rust items, dried plants and handmade paper, the artist employs a process of deterioration, weathering, and intricate hand-work to develop the work over time, but it is inherently impermanent.

Spirit, nature and emotion through a queer lens influences the work of Christa Marquez. Drawn to Taos, New Mexico, for its raw ecology, profound energy, and open views, Marquez invests in themes of vulnerability and impermanence expressed through abstract 2-3 dimensional work, using natural materials and processes directly related to their living environment. Seeking non-traditional, site-specific materials, Marquez makes work using natural printmaking, paper­making, forms of disintegration, and assemblage and strives for a light ecological impact. With a BFA in graphic design from The University of Kansas and an MFA in visual arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Marquez previously worked as graphic designer, package designer and illustrator and is currently faculty at The University of New Mexico, Taos.

A Meet the Artist event is planned for April 6th and is free and open to the public.