Mixed Greens is thrilled to announce Kimberley Hart’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Promise consists of new drawings and sculptures in which Hart presents various narratives connected by themes of autonomy, reliance, opportunism, and intrusion, all intimately tied to notions of place and family.
For Promise, Hart has constructed a number of elaborate birdhouses inspired by the Purple Martin “condos” popularized by the Amish community. Farmers attract flocks of these fairly tame, natural insecticides to their specifically proportioned houses with the unusual result of the species becoming completely reliant on humans for housing. Its rival, the Starling, is a common nuisance and an invasive species. They are crevice nest builders and not only harass Martins for their choice nesting sites but notoriously take up residence in peoples attics, barns, and wood piles with their large and unruly nests.
Hart built these Martin Houses using both Amish specifications and the traditional farmstead vernacular. The white clapboard-sided farmhouse, red barn, sheds, and coops, all bursting with nest material, stand overhead on steel posts. The adjacent log pile, made from recycled paper, delights with fantastic colored growth rings. Although we never see the Starlings, their intrusion is evident. Touching on notions surrounding the confluence of the built and natural worlds, Hart creates an allegory inspired by her son’s namesake, the Starling.
Hart’s drawings, masterfully rendered in colored pencil, display scenes from two timelines. In one narrative, a shiny airstream trailer shows signs of a fruitful, albeit constricted, living situation. A built-on extension and a tiny tricycle are evidence of an expanding family. A Starling assembles a nest in a long forgotten tree stump. Within the parallel timeline exists a storybook land in which Hart imagines milkmaids laying siege on a Dairy Queen’s castle. Farm animals and equipment elaborate on Hart’s associations with both sides of a battle over milk.
The recurring reference to Starlings and nest-making efforts straddles both timelines. It stands in as a metaphor for a new addition to a family—ironically looked upon as a resident invasive species. Promise is a simulation of the artist coming to terms with her new maternal role—full of fairytale romanticism, forced labor, nest-building, and open-ended visions of the future.
Kimberley Hart received her MFA in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design. Since then, she attended Skowhegan, McDowell Colony, McColl Center for Visual Art and spent two years at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. She has been included in a number of exciting group exhibitions at prestigious venues including Spaces in Cleveland, OH; untitled(space) in New Haven, CT; Exit Art in New York City; White Columns in New York City; the Institute for Contemporary Art in Portland, ME; Bellwether Gallery in New York City; and Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. She was awarded the Islip Museum’s Carriage House exhibition in 2007. Solo shows include the Sumter Country Gallery in Sumter, SC, and the Anthony Giordano Gallery on Long Island. Hart’s ambitious piece, Gingerbread Blind, which was originally made for Socrates Sculpture Park, is now a project at Mark Dion and J. Morgan Puett’s Mildred’s Lane in PA. Hart received a 2009 NYFA Fellowship in sculpture and is a participating artist in the 2012 Brooklyn Artists Ball. She has also participated as a farm apprentice at the Queens County Farm, Floral Park, NY.
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