Jene Highstein’s works seek to both upset and harmonize internal and external spaces. From massive installations transforming the gallery space, to manipulated natural forms interacting with natural environments, Highstein’s pieces explore the relationship between nature and abstraction, natural and manmade, interior and exterior.
The catalog features an explanation of Highstein’s work, as well as the details of his practice for Gallery/Landscape, by CAF founder and then-director Betty Klausner, as well as an interview between Klausner and Highstein. Photographs of the exhibition pieces are included in the catalog, preserving the site-specific installations in their entirety.
Jene Highstein’s work ultimately seeks to negotiate seemingly contrasting areas, resolving their disparity and exploring how these conflicting elements might coexist. His venue of exploration is not just within gallery walls, such as those of MCASB (formerly SBCAF), but also takes place outdoors in vast landscapes, in this case the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The dual venues for the exhibition immediately convey Highstein’s interest in the dualities of space, place, and form.
In the gallery, Highstein and the installation crew construct a massive, monolithic structure that both disrupts and integrates with space itself. The transformation changes the space, but the natural form are able to create a cohesion with the architecture of the room, and engage the audience with its tactility and extreme size. Despite being manmade, the structure appears almost natural in form.
In the landscape, Highstein places four pieces amongst the vast meadow of the Botanic Garden. The pieces, natural in origin though manipulated by the artist, sit in juxtaposition with the nature that surround them. Both disparate and integrated, they examine archaeological time and human intervention with their presence. The placement of these constructed works outdoors contribute further to the blurred lines between the seemingly contrasting spaces of gallery and landscape.
Produced in conjunction with the exhibition Jene Highstein: Gallery/Landscape organized by SBCAF, on display May 4 - June 16, 1991 at SBCAF and May 4 - July 31, 1991 at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, as well as at The Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi from August 16 - September 22, 1991 (include?*).
HARDCOVER, 32 pages, 8 black & white and color photographs and installation views, L x H 11” x 12”
PUBLICATION DATE - 1991