Beets, 2007. Animal collagen, artificial sinew, organic matter, and resin, installation view. Photo: Courtesy the artist

The Roots of Sustenance: A Conversation with Tracy Linder

Tracy Linder’s Western roots have nourished her work since she was a student at Montana State University in Billings. Though her installation-based projects often celebrate the nobility of rural life and the natural cycles of the seasons, there’s not a trace of sentiment in her approach. Linder works in very up-to-date idioms, making smart use of materials such as polyester resin and fiberglass (along with traditional materials like bronze and oddball elements like dyed grass, leather, and animal collagen). For optimum impact, she relies on dramatic lighting, life-size scale, and Minimalist strategies of repetition. Savvy viewers will also see lessons learned from some of the heroic figures of contemporary art: Eva Hesse, Joseph Beuys, and Rachel Whiteread.

Ann Landi: How did your upbringing in Montana affect your life as an artist?
Tracy Linder:
I was raised on a family farm. It’s a place where the land forms a community, and that ends up shaping your life. My parents had two daughters and no sons, so we were fortunate to be included in all aspects of the farming routine . . .

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