After Sara Kriendler delivered her mixed-media artwork to Guild Hall for the 78th Annual Artists Members Exhibition, it was unintentionally altered. When her “Calendario Lunar,” a relief sculpture created out of plaster and found objects, was unwrapped for mounting in the show, a sheet of green plastic foam typically used for packing was mistaken for just that — packing — and removed from Kriendler’s piece.
“I didn’t see that it was missing until I came to the opening,” Kriendler says with a laugh. There are no hard feelings about the alteration. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she was awarded top honors in the show by juror JiaJia Fei, director of digital art at The Jewish Museum in Manhattan. Her prize for top honors is a solo show in Guild Hall’s Spiga Gallery in 2018.
Kriendler and winners in various art disciplines will be interviewed by Guild Hall curatorial assistant Stephanie deTroy Miller at a “Meet the Winners” reception Saturday afternoon, followed by a tour of the show.
WHAT A RELIEF
Kriendler, who’s had three previous solo shows — two in New York, where she has an apartment in Harlem and a studio in Brooklyn — and another in Austria, is a sculptor and installation artist. She also has a place in Bridgehampton.
“My body of work is rooted in the impact of humans on the planet — seeing this as the Anthropocene epoch.” What epoch, you ask? Pessimists would compare it to the Paleocene epoch marked by mass extinctions, notably of dinosaurs. Let’s hope we don’t mess up the planet that badly.
But back to art. Kriendler’s winning entry — in just her second members show — “reflects the changing geology,” she says. She uses new materials — new for sculpture — such as the plastic foam and other found objects she adds to create ridges and three-dimensional effects, pressing them into Hydrocal, a type of plaster. The result in “Calendario Lunar” — lunar calendar — is what could be a mountain ridge here and crater over there — shifting geological dynamics, on the moon perhaps?
With two years to prepare for her Guild Hall solo show, Kriendler says she welcomes the opportunity. “I always look forward to presenting new art when I have my own show.”
THE BEST IN . . .
Other winners, among the 424 artist members in the show: Mike McLaughlin, $250 Catherine and Theo Hios Landscape Award for “United Nations|Skyline”; Suzanne LaFleur, best abstract for “Lyrical #5”; Marilyn Church, best representational work for “Towards the Light”; Robin Du Plessis, best photograph for “DNA — Pierre” (her son); Bastienne Schmidt, best work on paper for “Grids and Threads”; Dennis Leri, best sculpture for “Yellow Convergence”; Janet Rossi, best mixed media for “Carbon Matters”; and Jenny Gorman, best new artist — out of more than 100 new member artists — for “With Esme in May.” There are also 12 honorable mentions.