Artist Talk: Friday, January 10 @ 5:30pm

Opening Reception: Friday, January 10, 6 – 8pm

Exhibition Runs: January 10 – 30, 2020

Soft-Scapes is an exhibition of new work by artist Molly Zimmer. These mural-size assemblages depict playfully abstracted environments or vibrant floral landscapes, focusing primarily on the form of a curved line as is found everywhere in nature: a rounded rock, an arch, a flower petal, or a ripple on water. Larger than life, these immersive soft sculptures encourage viewers to examine their personal connections with textiles and with nature.

Inviting a serious but exuberant approach to the process, Zimmer sews together pieces of felt, canvas, and other found fabrics to emulate the landscape. Engaging the tactile senses, she juxtaposes colors derived from nature such as gradients of skies, earth tones of soil, and the hot pinks, oranges, and greens of cacti. Detailed and slowly composed, these fabric constructions drape from the wall bringing playfulness and abstraction into the tradition of quilts, rugs, and other textile designs.

Zimmer’s massive colorful arrangements of fabric shapes extend from ceiling to floor, creating the sensation of stepping from a back porch into the garden beyond. As a threshold between one world and another, these abstract portals answer a human need for the comforts and protection of home.

“I create works that build upon the human need to feel more connected to nature, known as “biophilia.” Using fabric as a material for collage, I create textured portals into a playful, whimsical, and bright garden realm. These giant wall-hangings aim to immerse the viewer with the sensual comforts and protection of the garden.

My wall hangings begin on the floor where fabrics are snipped, trimmed, folded, wrapped, arranged, and eventually sewn together to build a textured language akin to that of vegetation. Some shapes are planned, others are found through a responsive process of moving one fabric into the composition, then taking it away, then trying another. I am looking for an energetic and colorful feeling. Inspired by botanical gardens, I search for an energy similar to the dense, layered, haphazardness of composed plantings; I want to create a tropical, buzzing, busy, summer atmosphere. I invoke optimism and freeness into the gestural moves that prescribe the work’s color and form. The use of fabric reinforces the relationships between clothes and the body and between self and nature. Clothing is a form of expression and of protection—I use fabric to create vibrant and comforting sensations of biophilia.” – Molly Zimmer

Molly Zimmer is a multimedia artist whose work combines painting, textile, and collage. She holds an MFA in Painting from the University of New Mexico, and a BFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work has been exhibited throughout New Mexico and nationally. Molly is also textile restorer, specializing in Navajo weavings. She has taught sewing, drawing and painting courses through community-engaged workshops at museums, K-12 schools and universities, and in rehab facilities. She lives in Albuquerque where she maintains a studio at Downtown Contemporary.

Molly’s work has been exhibited in solo shows at Saint John’s Cathedral, Exhibit 208 and Small Engine Gallery in Albuquerque. She has participated in numerous group shows at Fleckenstein Gallery, Baltimore, MD; Tamarind Institute and Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM; Form and Concept Gallery and Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM; The Alternative Gallery, Allentown, PA; and Cerulean Gallery and Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo, TX.

Molly Zimmer, Black Bird, mixed media, 2019

Molly Zimmer, Red Poppies, mixed media, 2019

Art School Workshop: Abstracted Gardens with Molly Zimmer

Saturday & Sunday, February 1st & 2nd, 9am – 4pm

Come explore of the abstraction of nature through photographs of gardens, focusing on the collaging of found materials such as fabrics, paint and paper. Emphasis will be placed on encouraging playful, spontaneous and intuitive constructions of the landscape. Capturing nature in cut pieces engages one to view the environment as a sculptural abstraction, broadening the conversation of contemporary landscape art. This workshop will emphasize simplification of shapes, color, and composition of the landscape. Students will complete several small collages during each session, and experiment with a wide range of textured materials. All materials will be provided. All skill levels are welcome, no experience needed.

Location: Harwood’s 6th St. Studio
Workshop Fee: $135 Harwood members / $150 non-members