Monday, March 24, 2014

Eleanor Harwood Gallery presents: New Work by Kirk Maxson Foraging

Eleanor Harwood Gallery presents:

New Work by Kirk Maxson


Kirk Maxson, California Bay Laurel, 2014, brass and steel, 4 x 3 ft.

Alexis Anne Mackenzie


Exhibition Dates: April 5 - May 10, 2014
Opening Reception: April 5th, 2014 | 4-7 PM

March 22, 2014 (San Francisco, CA) - Eleanor Harwood Gallery is pleased to present Kirk Maxson in his first solo show with the gallery, Foraging. Presenting new work by the artist, Foraging will feature the hand cut paper and metal wall installations the artist is know for, as well as a new series of aluminum and brass sculptures. In the back room Project Space, Alexis Anne Mackenzie will show new collages in her show Synthesis. Two shows perfectly timed for spring, as cycles of renewal and rebirth transform the outdoor, as well as internal, landscapes. The gallery will host a reception on April 5, 2014 from 4 to 7 PM at 1295 Alabama St., San Francisco, CA 94110.

Kirk Maxson's work is, in a word, enchanting. He creates hundreds of small hand cut metal leaves arranged in clusters that form large-scale installations, as well as a series of butterflies made from pages of Natural History books, some dating back to the 19th century. The installations are made by individually inserting each petal, leaf or butterfly into the wall on thin wires. The result is an installation the feels as alive and organic as its subject matter, sometimes quivering in a breeze and casting delicate shadows against the structures supporting the work.

Maxson's large scale installations have been commissioned for several corporate collections and gallery spaces, including his installation of butterflies exhibited at Eli Ridgway Gallery in 2011. Cut out of images of war, the butterflies created a deeply sad and beautiful meditation on grief, loss and the transience of human life and suffering. Maxson also installed 1,000 butterflies at the Genentech headquarters, made of aluminum and painted from deep blues to vibrant reds. In contrast, this installation is joyous and optimistic, speaking to metamorphosis as Genetech researches and manufactures treatments for ill patients. In his first solo show at Eleanor Harwood Gallery, Kirk has continued this delicate and nuanced work, expanding it with a series of metal sculptural tree branches, based on species including Laurel, Olive and Rose.

A skilled forager, Kirk gathers his own plant specimens, creating an extensive herbarium from which he bases his paper and metal reproductions, a practice that gives his manmade flora and fauna its inherent lifelike quality. Trained by his mother, an expert mushroom gatherer, the quest and seeking-in the woods, under freeway over passes, on a neighborhood walk-imbues his work with the natural pleasure of perceiving and looking at nature, in all its variety and surprises. The chance observations that make up his plant gathering are translated to the artist's installation style, which may appear around a corner, or climbing a wall, discovered and not displayed.

The gallery's newly appointed back room Project Space will feature new work by Alexis Anne Mackenzie in Synthesis. Her collages, composed of multiple images sliced and spliced back together in an overlay that marries the outline of forms from both images, can be understood like a film editor's work, weaving disparate scenes into a story. The intricacy of the artist's technique is offset by the minimalist composition, achieving a beauty and fragility in the pairing. The show's title,Synthesis, references this merging of two things, as well as a plant's natural process of conversion, a theme of change and growth particularly relevant to the artist as she prepares for an overseas move.

Alexis Anne Mackenzie, Not Quite Opera, 2014, hand-cut collage on paper, 6.25 x 4 in.

About the Artists

Kirk Maxson, b. 1967, lives and works in San Francisco, CA. He studied sculpture and photography at University of California, Santa Barbara, and has had previous solo shows at Light Leak Gallery and Scene/Escenea, San Francisco, CA. He has exhibited in group exhibitions at Eli Ridgway Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Ampersand International Arts, San Francisco, CA; and the True Silver & New York Book Fair, New York, NY; among others. His work has been commissioned for numerous corporate collections including ClimateWorks Foundation, San Francisco, CA; Kilroy Realty Corporation, Bellevue, WA; UBM, San Francisco, CA; and Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA.

Alexis Anne Mackenzie, b. 1979, lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She received her BFA from Tufts University / School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA and has shown in solo and two-person shows at Ampersand, Portland, OR; Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CA; EBERSMOORE, Chicago, IL and POVevolving Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; among others, as well as in group exhibitions including MOMA PS1, New York, NY; Berkeley Art Center, CA; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL; and The Hole, New York, NY. In 2012 she received the Wynn Newhouse Award and her work is held in numerous private collections.

About Eleanor Harwood Gallery

The Eleanor Harwood Gallery opened September 2006. The programming of the gallery focuses on emerging to mid-career artists exhibiting nationally and internationally. The roster includes artists that are represented in major American collections, and the gallery actively promotes and encourages career growth for represented artists.


1295 Alabama Street
San Francisco, CA 94110


Wednesday-Thursday, 1-5 PM
Friday-Saturday, 11 AM-6 PM
And by appointment



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