Jim Toia: Notes on Threatened Landscapes
The artist Jim Toia is perhaps best known for his sculptures made from foraged natural materials and the spore drawings he has shown in museum and gallery spaces nationally and internationally. This exhibition presents an expansive view of his varied practice with examples of work produced in Alaska and Key West where rising seas are transforming the coasts, in South Texas where extreme drought is disrupting farming, in California where drought and fire are increasingly threats, and in New Jersey where continuous development is encroaching on wildlife and parkland.
Notes on Threatened Landscapes combines examples of Toia’s spore drawings, made with fungi foraged from the forested landscapes of Alaska, northern California, and New Jersey; rubbings and contact prints made from palm trees in Key West; anthill casts from south Texas; and drawings and hollow-cast sculptured rocks and boulders created during his recent residency at Joshua Tree National Park. The Joshua Tree works use images of the cryptobiotic crust (the fragile surface of the desert floor) taken with an electron microscope and manipulated by the artist to create extraordinary webs that ebb and flow across the page and over the hollow-cast boulders. The exhibition is a gentle call to advocacy for fragile and unique landscapes across a wide geographical expanse and a reminder of nature’s complexity and inherent beauty.
Organized by Donna Gustafson, Chief Curator, and Raven Manygoats, Graduate Curatorial Assistant