Evie Lindemann is a sixth generation California—her ancestors were early settlers of the state—who moved to Connecticut 12 years ago. She lives in Ninth Square, teaches at Albertus Magnus and works as an art therapist with combat veterans. She’s also a printmaker, who’s shown at New Haven City-Wide Open Studio, the West Cove Studio & Gallery in West Haven.
The local arts event dearest to Lindemann’s heart right now, however, concerns her West Coast roots. With the help of New Haven-based curator Barbara Hawes, , Lindemann has created a touching tribute to her sister Nannette Clark, a Southern California photographer who died last July at the age of 69. “I adored her,” Lindemann says. “She was my best friend, as well as my sister.” A fortuitous street corner encounter with Hawes led to the curator “looking at some of my sister’s stuff,” Lindemann recalls. “We have to do a show,” Hawes announced. “It matters.”
The exhibit, Nannette Clark: A Retrospective, has an opening reception tonight at The Grove, the Ninth Square coworking/networking space (on Orange Street near Crown) whose wallspace Barbara Hawes has been curating for the last year.
It’s a very full show, featuring over 30 pieces, which Lindemann herself couriered to Connecticut from California. It covers decades in the artist’s life.
Clark had lung cancer and was ill for several years. She continued to create art right into the final weeks before her death. Some of the works on display at The Grove comment directly on her own mortality. A photo of a volleyball net on a deserted beach in early morning fog is titled “The game is over.”
One piece, understatedly labeled “Parking Structure #1,” shows a brightly lit exit out of a dark room. The Sartrean/Dante-esque/New Age “into the light” symbolism is overwhelming, replete with trash can for casting off material possessions.
The theme of losing a family member that’s incumbent in the exhibit very existence is furthered with the inclusion of “Dust to Dust,” a tribute Nannette Clark did to her brother after he died of kidney cancer.
But despite its many images of loss and decay—abandoned barns, rusted Cadillacs—Nannette Clark: A Retrospective is not downhearted. Mostly, it’s a celebration of life, particularly plant life. One of the few color images is of glowing leaves on a black background. Discussing photos of the distinctive gnarled trees in “Pacheco Pass,” Evie Lindemann says, “that’s so much how we lived.” Other works show much wispy branches, so thin and delicate that the photos look more like pen-and-ink drawing.
Lindemann explains that Hawes originally used a darkroom for her photography but then became adept at Photoshop. “She was in this nerdy group of Photoshop users with all these retired engineers.”
The exhibit continues through June 29 at The Grove, 71 Orange St., New Haven. For more information, email email@example.com.