In ‘The Gathering’ artist Chris Bauder gathers the nomads of the desert

Chris Bauder’s ‘The Gathering’
Photo: Mikayla Whitmore

At 4 p.m., when the sun turns from a whitewash into a golden warmth, it lands its rays onto artist Chris Bauder’s mint-colored pyramid of tumbleweeds inside the Clark County Government Center. Illuminating the stack, it makes holy the plant’s wanderlust, giving praise to the iconic symbols of the American West that, when in piled mass, resemble the smoky visuals of pyrocumulus cloud.

They spread life after death, roaming the desert floors, germinating and collecting, a give-and-take. We know them as nomadic corpses bouncing dryly across the landscape, in motion with the wind. The twiggy brush, found between Las Vegas and LA, is an ongoing departure from Bauder’s soft and supple latex sculptures, a 180 switch in materials. But his latex objects, balloon-shaped or tape-like, are still present, embedded within the branches. We saw this on a smaller scale (and in a deep red) at the Skull exhibit at Donna Beam Gallery in 2014. Here the sculpture of stacked tumbleweed seems charismatic and alive, a carefully created mass of brush gathering at rest with all it has gathered.

The Gathering Through May 6; Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery, 702-455-7030.

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Kristen Peterson

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