The few years I lived in Houston’s Menil neighborhood, right behind the University of St. Thomas, I felt like I’d been invited to live in a sacred garden, a nearly prelapsarian environment. It is a beautiful space, near the art museum known as the Menil Collection and its park, and bordered by several streets of…Read More
Image: Natalie, a lot of your recent artwork is temporary—that is, it’s drawn directly onto gallery walls and when the show is over, only photos are left. Can you speak to this?
Natalie Settles: Yes, these are works with lifespans. In fact, the installations are typically up for the same amount of time over which the lifecycle of a small annual plant would play out.
I’d noticed a lab whose work seemed to be driven by some of the broader questions that motivated my own studio practice—life in the margins, forms shaped by place, the ideal and the compromised, things that are compelling and powerful and also fleeting. This was Steve’s lab.
One evening while we were walking the hilly streets of Pittsburgh, a friend urged me to get in touch with Steve to see what would happen. The next day I emailed him and told him I was an artist and was interested in his work. A couple days later, we met for a two-hour chat over coffee; now, four years later, the rest is history.Read More
Oh how much I’d been looking forward to this, after five weeks in Los Angeles with nary a chance to make it to my favorite place in town. You can have the Arclight, Gladstone’s, Venice Beach, and the Promenade; go ahead, take LACMA and Griffith Observatory while you’re at it. Just give me The Getty…Read More
In Maine, people say, “If you don’t do winter, you don’t deserve summer.” But after I fell on the ice one too many times this winter, I flew south. On the plane, I read in USA Today about the recent Pew Trust U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, which noted that Northern New England and the West…Read More
In the final moments of the German film, The Lives of Others, the former Communist Minister of Culture, Bruno Hempf, makes a provocative speech to the playwright Georg Dreyman. (Hempf had bugged Dreyman’s apartment back during the bad old days.) “You’ve not written since the Wall fell?” Hempf asks. “That’s not good. After all our…Read More
Our first post-wedding-vows fight occurred somewhere between Omaha and Sioux Falls, in a sagging Paseo stuffed with all the wedding gifts that Ben couldn’t force into our U-Haul. A week earlier, we had married in my Missouri hometown; now, we were moving to his home in Montana. As our car lumbered up the snowy interstate,…Read More
Greg Wolfe’s editorial in Image issue 56 makes a convincing case for beauty, the stepchild in the classic trio of transcendentals: truth, beauty, and goodness. I’d like to throw into the conversation a lunchtime chat I had last summer at Image’s Glen Workshop — with sculptor Ginger Geyer, who was on the faculty that year. Ginger’s porcelain…Read More