exhibit poster gallery view fata morgana gallery view gallery view Vespers Fall and Sext Summer Sext Summer Sun Dog Matins Winter and Lauds Green-up gallery view January Light Mendenhall Glacier Tanana Solstice Erratic and Connfluence McCarthy Morning McCarthy Morning and Tea House Tea House Tea House and Reading Room Reading Room gallery view Temple II Bird Point
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Margo Klass: An Alaskan Book of Hours
at the Alaska State Museum
March 23 - April 28, 2012

I conceived the Alaskan Book of Hours as a series of visual meditations inspired by the Alaskan landscape. While it is based on the medieval Book of Hours, my interpretation is specifically Alaskan. The Hours of the day – Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline – become reflections of the seasons as we pass from winter’s snow and its dawn of light (Matins), to the rebirth of plant growth at green-up (Lauds), the triumphant arrival of spring (Prime), the ever-present light of Summer Solstice (Terce), the fullness of summer (Sext), the harvest time that follows (None), the grey light of late fall (Vespers), and finally the absence of light at Winter Solstice (Compline).

The landscape inspirations are largely those from Interior Alaska, particularly my home in Fairbanks. Matins – Winter, for example, is based on skiing my favorite wooded trails at the University, a perfect combination of exercise, relaxation, and meditation. Terce – Summer Solstice reflects my feeling for the open spaces and incessant light of summer. Compline – Winter Solstice expresses a quiet reverence for the dark cosmic vastness. Although my tenure as an Alaskan resident is not yet a decade, I have become bound to this landscape and the rhythm of its seasons.
The other pieces included in this show also reference what I think of as my Alaskan self. I had never seen a sundog until, standing in the parking lot of Sam’s Sourdough Café, I looked up and was startled by this strange phenomenon. Fishing on Nome Creek, where I found it difficult to walk on its slippery and shiny tailings, inspired the imagery of Then: Nome Creek. After visiting Mendenhall Glacier I discovered the perfect combination of objects to represent its icy mass. These constructions are responses to what I do and where I travel, and sometimes to what happens when I look out the window beyond the breakfast table.
I combine found, natural, and fabricated objects to form my compositions. The space between objects is defined in niche-like boxes whose windows and skylights join interior with exterior. Covering the boxes are handmade Japanese papers. Their fibrous edges absorb the glue and produce defining lines that indicate the architectural framework within each box.

Photographs by Sara Boesser

Gallery View

Fata Morgana

2009
Mixed media

Gallery View

Gallery View

An Alaskan Book of Hours
Vespers – Fall

2011
Mixed media

An Alaskan Book of Hours
Sext – Summer

2011
Mixed media

An Alaskan Book of Hours
Sext – Summer

2011
Mixed media

Sun Dog

2012
Mixed media

An Alaskan Book of Hours
Matins – Winter

2011
Mixed media

An Alaskan Book of Hours
Lauds – Green-up

2011
Mixed media

Gallery View

January Light

2007
Mixed media

Mendenhall Glacier

2012
Mixed media

Tanana Solstice

2010
Mixed media

Erratic

2010
Mixed media

Confluence

2009
Mixed media

McCarthy Morning

2012
Mixed media

McCarthy Morning

2012
Mixed media

Tea House

2012
Mixed media

Tea House

2012
Mixed media

Tea House

2012
Mixed media

Reading Room

Mixed media

Reading Room

Mixed media

Gallery view

Temple II

2012
Mixed media

Bird Point

2012
Mixed media