Hothouse is a meditation on the fertile ground between the conception and the creation of a work of an art, and an investigation into the various elements that motivate the creative process for Virgil Marti (PA). At the center of this exhibition is a terrarium, a fixture in Marti’s studio since the early 1970s. For him, this vivarium is a metaphor for the importance of having all the right elements within the right atmosphere when conceiving of a new body of work.
Marti considers his work as hybrids of found materials, art history, and his own biography. The fusing of those integral components is at the core of his practice, yet the manner in which he realizes a project is completely dependent on a multitude of factors including source material, recent events, dreams and memories, the lighting in the studio, a radio program, and a conversation with an artisan, to name a few.
Hothouse underscores the importance of those factors and features several new works in conversation with objects from the artist’s studio in rural Pennsylvania. Each object holds special meaning to the artist and was selected because of its role in fostering a fruitful studio practice.
This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding was also provided by the Kohler Trust for the Arts and Education, Kohler Foundation, Inc., and the Frederic Cornell Kohler Charitable Trust. The Arts Center thanks its many members for their support of exhibitions and programs through the year.