Captivating imagery: New Art Exhibits at Augsburg

Ashley Kronebusch, Staff Writer


Two new art exhibits were opened recently in the dedicated exhibition spaces on campus. “Between lost and found” by Augsburg professor Lyz Wendland is on display in the Oren Gateway Center, while “Love Poems: Marks of Love and Care” by Jonathan Herrera Soto is in Christensen center.

“Between Lost and Found” is a reflection on the contradictions that exist between natural and constructed landscapes. Upon entering the exhibit, the giant painted panels hung across the back wall jump out, forming an immediate focal point for the exhibit. Bright and solid oranges and pinks stand firmly above dripping greens and blues, undulating across the room with a slow but wild energy. This is contrasted with overlapping paper in flowing acrylic blues and yellows, or black geometric forms. Wendland’s exhibit creates unity through disunity, finding rhythm by combining lackadaisical paint with frantic acrylic and rigid geometry. What is most impressive is how the exhibit space is designed, with the geometric forms escaping the confines of paper onto the walls and even the glass separating the exhibit from the rest of Oren Gateway Center. This creates the strong atmosphere that the exhibit embodies even within a see-through environment, where looking out ultimately draws the viewer right back in. 

Love Poems: Marks of Love and Care” is a series of daily drawings on the themes of violence and trauma. The series is very abstract in nature, focusing on creating emotion through rubbings and sketches. Drawings in the series alternate between detailed, realistic portrayals of everyday objects, unrecognizable shapes and patterns and disturbing imagery. Much of the work is unrecognizable or mundane when viewed in isolation, such as repeated drawings of chairs and tools, but come together to a coherent and somber whole. The drawings that stand out most are those with human figures, whether it be a group of soldiers or the silhouette of a hanged person. Herrera Soto’s work feels very raw, which is heightened by the rough linework and low-quality newspaper paper, but very thoughtful and deliberate at the same time. It creates a very uncomfortable environment which is not to be approached lightly. Some of the drawings are accompanied by poetry in Spanish and English. The rough block letters contribute to the sense of emotional intensity, toeing the line between formality and intimacy. 

Although not officially connected, these two exhibits are both very sensory and intuitive. Neither require any deep analysis on the part of the viewer, but rather only ask for active participation. Both works draw you in, from Wendland’s compelling contradictions to Herrera Soto’s disturbing abstractions. Both exhibits are best experienced with an attentive eye and an open heart.

This article was originally published in the November 1, 2019 issue.