Mary Anne Kluth's work explores representations of nature through drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, and installation. Kluth grew up participating in many geologic field trips and camping trips all over the United States but over time became obsessed with theatrical representations of the land that both evoke and subvert cultural notions of the sublime and national pride.
Expanding on her collection of Theme Park Collages, Kluth transformed ISP’s storefront windows into one luminous diorama. During her two-month residency, Kluth painted a mural and arranged two and three-dimensional works that drew inspiration from John Wesley Powell’s journals chronicling his 1869 exploration of the Grand Canyon and landscape paintings from that era by Thomas “Yellowstone” Moran, but were instead compiled from her replications of theme park landscape elements.
Kluth's work draws an interesting contrast between the use of color and composition in romantic landscape painting of the 1860s to emphasize magnificence and power and our more modern tendency to infantilize the landscape.
During her residency, Kluth taught a diorama workshop and the public was invited to opening and closing receptions. A limited edition zine cataloging the source photographs for The Escape is available at Irving Street Projects. If you look closely you might recognize rocks from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or clouds from Hello Kitty Land.
Press: The Coastal Post