events · exhibitions · WARM artists

Eclipse: Air, Water, Fire, and Light

Fire Distillation No. 9_2014_WARMblogsizejpg Iguazu Falls-It All CulminatesblogsizeMarcia Solderman

Eclipse: Air, Water, Fire, and Light

Gallery One Tractor Works

Minneapolis, MN

Oct 23-December 19,2014

The title of this exhibition, Eclipse, refers to Marcie’s relationship to nature through her artwork.  The elements of Fire, Water, Air and Light are depicted as Marcie shows what happens when the artistic response is eclipsed by tangible contact with nature at its fullest presence.

At her artists talk at Tractor Works Gallery on November 24th, she talked at length about her trip to the Ignaca Falls which is located at the crux of three Latin American countries: Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The translation of Ignaca is the “Devils Throat” and as Marcie describes it, looking down from a precipice into the Falls was so thrilling and terrifying that it overwhelms all other senses including the auditory sense. She found this encounter so overwhelming that she had to dedicate a series of paintings to the experience.  Earlier in her career Marcie had dedicated a series to Water Distillations, the Fire and Solar Distillations are another aspect of the idea, looking for light, looking for intensity in the artist’s relationship with nature. The paintings as they are gathered in this exhibition are strong in ethereal color, rhythm, and light, which is clear evidence of the success she has had in the pursuit of the pure response.

The first impression I had was specifically of the vibrancy and immersion into the elements in each painting. I felt this most intensely with the fire paintings; in how the brush strokes are built up to physically push you back resembling the heat of flames in a bonfire when you get too close.  However, she does this also with the light and air paintings, so that each is an in-depth study, an affinity with each element.  My favorite ”Falls” painting in this show is “White Vapors” where she builds up the voluptuous undulations in the water, it is like a dance!   This is clear evidence of the success she has had in the pursuit of the pure response.

On the wall with the “Devil’s Throat” paintings she includes studies from the “Solar Distillations” series as well as a 911 Memorial tribute painting. It may seem that this subject would be out of context, yet as Marcie describes it, the effect of visiting Ground Zero in New York is very similar to her response to the natural elements, it is just as overwhelming and astonishing to experience the atmosphere there and ponder what happened in that place.   There are a considerable variety of images in this show, which depict the feelings and spark inspiration in the mind and heart of the artist.  Perhaps, the subject of inspiration should be approached in more artwork if the results were like this!

It’s not all rushing intensity though because she includes small delicate drawings of foliage, textural paintings on paper and abstract paintings about her complex relationship with her father.

Soderman has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows for twenty years. She has taught art, art history, and women in art for over 25 years at the University of Minnesota, Hamline University and other area colleges. While a professional in museum education Soderman curated many exhibitions. Her work has been published in major arts journals including Studio Visit and International Contemporary Artists.   She has been featured twice in Twin Cities TOSCA magazine and in August she received the Award of Excellence at the TOSCA/Maple Grove Arts Center exhibition, Beyond Minnesota Nice, juried by photographer Will Agar.

Soderman’s artwork is in many private and public collections, including the Art Collection of Boynton Health Services at the University of Minnesota.  Her work can be seen at Boynton Health Services, in the online gallery of,. Commissions are accepted. Solderman has also served as a Mentor in the WARM Mentor Protégé Program.

“The branching of trees, synapses firing, light beaming, the rhythm of water lapping on the shore, the constant beating of the heart.  It all speaks of life. Pattern, repetition, change. The microscopic and the macroscopic echo each other remarkably in movement and form, in the gathering of force and the dissolution of form, and in the replication of these processes over and over again.  The act of drawing, painting—mark-making—is a process of life.”

Review by Debra Ripp