.Two Northern California Artists Contribute to ‘Abstract Nature’ Exhibit in Marin

As spring comes to Marin County, the Marin Art & Garden Center in Ross celebrates the blooming season with an exhibition of “Abstract Nature.”

The two-person art show features sculpture by Fort Bragg artist Nick Taylor and large- scale monotype prints and other works on paper by San Anselmo artist Katherine Warinner, who has lived and worked in Marin for 30 years.

“I went to New York City and found that wasn’t the place for me,” Warinner—a Midwest native—says. “Came out to San Francisco and when I came to Marin, I said, ‘This is it, this is utopia.’”

With a background in painting, Warinner’s artistic body of work centers primarily on printmaking, and she specializes in making monotypes that reinvent the traditional forms of printing through modern technology to capture natural objects in their abstract forms.

“The prints in this show are a culmination of years of experimentation in printmaking,” Warinner says. “When I tried monotype, I completely fell in love with it.”

Warinner describes monotype as a hybrid of painting and printmaking, in that each print is a one-of-a-kind piece of art, rather than one of a series of prints.

“The work in this exhibition combines a lot of different methods,” Warinner says.

Those methods include laser-etched woodcuts and a cyanotype sun-printing process that Warinner developed over the course of the last year in social isolation.

Utilizing these methods, Warinner makes large-scale monotypes that can be as big as 60-inches long, and she depends on the massive printmaking press machines at locations like Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and In Cahoots Press in Petaluma, where she prints her works on paper.

In her prints, Warinner illuminates the symmetrical and fractal patterns she finds naturally forming in the wild, and her floral subjects can resemble cellular structures or clouds.

“I love the scientific basis and relationship of nature and its structure,” Warinner says.

With over 40 of her prints in the show, Warinner says it will be interesting for people to see her works in combination with Nick Taylor’s sculptures, which express similar abstract ideas in a completely different way.

For “Abstract Nature,” curator Kate Eilertsen paired Warinner’s prints and Taylor’s wood and metal sculptures to create a show that should be seen in person if possible.

“You can see things in the online exhibition; but if you go, people will definitely feel safe. It’s 2,000 square-feet, three rooms, totally social-distanced,” Warinner says. “Especially experiencing sculpture, you have to walk around it. And my work is large, and I emboss the paper so it has subtle dimensions. It’s about slowing down and looking and sensing and feeling. I think it will be an uplifting show for people.”

“Abstract Nature” opens with an online reception on Friday, March 12, at 5pm, and can be seen online or in person March 13 to April 25. Marin Art & Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross. In-person hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 10am to 4pm; Sundays, noon to 4pm. Free. Maringarden.org.
Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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