Gretchen Jane Mentzer is a sculptor and installation artist whose work engages landscape and environments, both natural and constructed. Her work has been exhibited at The Bolinas Museum and the Koahsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan. She lives in Mill Valley, California. She has had residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the Hall Farm Center in Vermont among others
We have a variety of works in her exhibition of artists from The Headlands Center for the Arts. The first is a large installation of white figures. These hauntingly beautiful sculptures are like clothing or skins in postures that suggest the spirit of the presence that might inhabit them. She has an uncanny ability to capture the force and mystery of nature in these powerful and endearing small works. They embody both vulnerability and endurance.
Gretchen has created many extraordinary installations and environments throughout her years as an artist, always maintaining a respect for materials and an instinct for natural forms and process. Her Stacks create a wonderful presence in the gallery with their physical presence that seems entirely natural in their adherence to the laws of nature as they are neither glued nor stapled but just stand together by virtue of their weight and structure. Her pure use of materials is ingeneous as you look closely and note that they are simply made of the handles of paper grocery bags (recycled of course.)
The third part of our installation is entitled Linked . These extraordinary works appear to be like toys made of grass. They are interchangeable. Their hollowness intrigues us while their surface is reminiscent of standing on a field. All good art provokes multiple associations, Gretchen said when we were speaking of the work and I find it particularly true of this exhibition.