The patterns, sensations and rhythms of nature have been an early influence on the art of both Wiegmann and Truman. The two artists have both experienced a profound sense of awe and appreciation throughout their lives in various natural settings. The patterns of the vast natural landscape and geological striations compelled the two artists to explore their own relationships with the land through abstraction. Wiegmann speaks about his work as subconscious expression which arises through the process of making. The result of which is a distillation of experiences and memories and recurring rhythms.
The works that appear in their upcoming show at Visions West Contemporary continue to meditate on these notions of pattern, color, and texture in nature. This in-depth collaboration has led the artists to a particular essence in their works that is focused on the elemental interplay of fire and water and the destructive as well as regenerative nature of these two things.
Some of the works that appear in this show utilize scale and multi-media installation in order to express the intention of the artists. One of the especially collaborative works physically engages the viewer to move around and with the work. The use of gently weathered free standing columns of wood allows the body to relate to their scale and anthropomorphic shape. The charred patina on these carved and burned timbers is sharply contrasted with the pink tone of the fracking sand that the wooden figures seem to be rising out of. The piece is punctuated by the projection of moving water onto the sand. This installation piece in particular hints to the direction of the two artists continued work; what are the consequences of the human imposition on the natural world?
Suzanne Truman received her BA from Montana State University and Ralph Wiegmann’s BFA was from the Drawing and Printmaking Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Both artists received MFA’s from the University of Montana in 1996 and 1998, respectively, and had since lived in Montana, until their recent move to teach in Wisconsin. Truman teaches Art + Design at UW-Eau Claire - Barron County, and Wiegmann teaches at North Cedar Academy, an International Baccalaureate High School.