A new solo exhibition by Occidental College’s Linda Lyke, Field Notes: When Taxonomy Becomes Iconography, will continue through August 4 at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton.
The show of monotyped and silkscreened prints, collages and solar etchings vividly captures the spontaneous and immediate sense of discovery that stems from the close and careful observation of nature.
The work evolved from Lyke’s personal observations of birds and megafauna in Amboseli National Park and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya during a 2017 trip sponsored by a MacArthur International Grant from the college.
“The combination of photographing and interacting with the big mammals of Africa in their natural habitat, talking with conservationists at Amboseli and the Maasai Mara, as well as visiting local art galleries in South Africa, cemented my commitment to creating a body of work about my travels,” says Lyke.
Lyke relied on hundreds of photographs she took as well as personal field notes as she distilled her experience into the prints on display at the Muckenthaler. Her work is informed by the tradition of scientific field research. Like a biologist or ornithologist, Lyke observes animals in the wild and then produces prints for further study, which are translated through her own iconography.
Her prints reveal the beauty, fragility and complexity of life on earth, from the smallest local hummingbird to the largest elephant herds in Kenya. In her monotypes, which capture the destructive beauty of California’s wildfires, and her mixed-media solar etchings, which depict how scientists are using DNA technology to preserve biodiversity, Lyke examines how modern society is both contributing to the climate crisis and organizing to combat it.
Lyke has had over 20 one-person shows and her prints have been juried into more than 90 national print and drawing exhibitions. She is represented in many private and public collections, including the Ian Potter Museum in Melbourne, Belfast Print Workshop in Northern Ireland, Texas Tech University, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Mass., James Jones Collection of Pomona, and Glendale’s Brand Library. She is currently president of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society.
The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is located at 1201 W. Malvern Avenue in Fullerton. For more information, go to themuck.org.