Dominance and Affection: New Work by Bethany Krull
On View Saturday, July 24, 2010–Sunday, January 30, 2011
As part of the Burchfield Penney Art Center’s 2009 Art in Craft Media biennial funded by the Sylvia L. Rosen Endowment, the Langley H. Kenzie award was created to recognize an outstanding artist from the juried exhibition with a solo show. The award is in honor of Ms. Kenzie, for her dedication as an artist in the craft medium and in support of others like her.
The work of artist Bethany Krull is an often playful examination of the complex relationships between humans and other species. Dominance and Affection looks at the mix of love and restraint with which we regard our pets, warmly acknowledging them as family members but keeping them locked indoors, sometimes in cages. Krull uses this dynamic as a metaphor for other social relationships among people as well.
Primarily working in clay--specifically porcelain--Krull has recently expanded her art-making practice to include metals. This expansion into another medium further reveals her as a skilled sculptor. Works like her Revolving Mount Specimen 1 employ nickel plated bronze and steel; they may place form before medium, but they do not forget the substances from which they are made. They convey the artist's meaning without forgetting the vehicle for it that she has constructed.
Using a variety of materials to convey the complexity and playfulness of relationships, Krull helps us examine the things we love. Whether she is imagining hermit crabs in cribs or hamsters dwelling in apartment towers, her precious but caged animals address mixed messages of control and embrace.