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Tracy Linder: Tractor Hides

May 30 - Aug. 22, 2009

South Two Gallery

Tracy Linder was raised on her family's sugar beet farm west of Billings, Montana. Her work is rooted in this agricultural way of life, drawing on iconic symbols and photographic images that both honor and memorialize the changing place of the family farm in America.

Tracy Linder (American, b. 1965) grew up on her family's sugar beet farm near Billings, MT. The agricultural lifestyle of her youth has rooted her creative work, which explores iconic forms and photographic images that reference the farm life that she understands intimately.

In her installation Tractor Hides, fourteen individual "hides" are stood on end and lit from within, creating pod-like forms. Using animal collagen as the primary material, photographic images of the land, plants, farm machinery, humans, and animals are imbedded into the collagen and formed over the treads of splayed tractor tires. They embody Linder's interest in life, death, and decay.

As with much of Linder's work, Tractor Hides honors family farms while bringing to the fore the political and economic shifts that are changing this way of life. The sculptures resonate with a sense of ritual and tradition of farming and ranch life. Linder also calls attention to the repetition and necessary cycle of death and survival, connecting human ritual to the environment and the reciprocal relationship between the two.

The eerie glow of the sculptures, their visceral surface, human scale, and placement in single or multiple groupings in the gallery engages the viewer to walk among and become a participant in the exhibition. The subject, materials, and themes of Linder's work raise the political, environmental, and economic issues impacting ranching and farming communities today.

Linder holds an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has an extensive regional exhibition record and, in 2000, was commissioned by the United States General Services Administration Art in Architecture program to create artwork for the new border station at Sweetgrass, MT and Coutts, Alberta, Canada. In 2009, she has solo exhibitions at OK Harris, New York City; the Holder Museum, Helena, MT; and the Gallery of Visual Arts, University of Montana, Missoula in addition to this exhibition at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. She is also represented in group exhibitions at the Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT; Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Ketchum, ID; and I.D.E.A Space, Colorado Spring, CO. Linder lives in Montana.

Tracy Linder will be an artist in residence for the Art Museum's Paint Pony Express program from July 14 – 18. A Gallery Walk Through is scheduled for Friday, July 17, at 10:30 am and an Art Talk on Saturday, July 18, at 10:30 am. These events are free and open to the public. The Art Museum thanks Tracy Linder and Neltje for lending Tractor Hides for this exhibition.

  • Funded in part by the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum.

Images:

Left: Tracy Linder (American, b. 1965), Tractor Hides, 1997-1998, photo emulsion on animal collagen, steel rod, disc plate, light, size variable, photo courtesy of the artist

Center: Tracy Linder (American, b. 1965), Tractor Hides, 1997-1998, photo emulsion on animal collagen, steel rod, disc plate, light, size variable, photo courtesy of the artist

Right: Tracy Linder (American, b. 1965), Tractor Hides, 1997-1998, photo emulsion on animal collagen, steel rod, disc plate, light, size variable, photo courtesy of the artist


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