Rowan University Art Gallery
BODY, MIND, AND HAIR
Opening Reception: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2010
Continuing a season-long exploration of the body as a theme in contemporary art, Rowan University Art Gallery presents a group exhibition reflecting on the contemporary female experience to the gallery October 11 - November 13, 2010. A reception to welcome the exhibit will be Wednesday, October 20 from 5:30 – 7 pm with special guest speaker Laura Frazure. Curated by Mary Salvante, Co-Curator Ellie Brown.
"Body Mind and Hair" includes the work of 10 woman artists examining the theme of the contemporary female experience through video, sculpture, painting, works on paper and photography. These works utilize historical references from art and literature – with contemporary imagery and perspectives – that at times challenge accepted views and at other times are in harmony with them. It is a reflection of the constant flux in which current societal notions of female beauty, identity, and purpose are considered.
The artists – who hail from Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco - include Alison Brady, Yoon Cho, Wanda Ewing, Laura Frazure, Deborah Hamon, Jenny Laden, Alyssa Monks, Susan Moore, Anastasia Owell Wong, and Kathleen Sweeney. Frazure, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, will be guest speaker at the reception.
About the speaker and her work: Believing in classical ideas about form sense and its communicative potential, Laura models figures that are theatrical and contemporary. In her works over the past decade, she has emphasized "direct modeling", highlighting form and form development with no subsequent meditational processes. Using translucent waxes coated with a thin glaze of oil paint and varnish, the figures are constructed on a steel reinforced aluminum wire armature. The final outcome, though stable and permanent, conveys an ephemeral quality of fragile immediacy.
The figures on view reflect Laura's interest in the conventions of "bodily rhetoric", which she describes as denaturalized figural attitudes or poses, invented to express ideas intrinsic to a particular medium. The Greek Kouros figures serve as notable examples of a derived pose specific to the medium of sculpture. The sculptures shown reference the idiosyncratic, media generated poses of contemporary fashion photography, with the presentation of the body, as in the Kouros figures, lying outside the realm of normal posture and colloquial gesture.
Frazure is a sculptor and teacher of Anatomy at the New York Academy of Art and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Art and Design at The University of the Arts and has taught Digital Figure Modeling at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. Recent solo and group exhibitions include the Phoenix and Medialia Gallery in New York, The Borowsky Gallery and the Goldie Paly Gallery in Philadelphia. She has been a PEW Fellowship finalist twice and a recipient of the Robert Engman Award in Sculpture. In addition to her sculptural practice, she has done set and production design for theater and film.
Brady's work is a series of color photographs that stimulate unconscious emotions, desires and sexual compulsions, all unified within a dynamic that vacillates between the real and the fantasized. Cho, from Korea, is inspired by the adaptation to new social and physical environments across national and international borders, focusing on the process of loss and the search for identity while examining the impermanence and instability of human nature that is constantly changing and evolving in time. Ewing explores the subjects of race, beauty standards, sexuality and identity and creates humorous narratives inspired by images found in popular culture. Hamon's work examines the construction of identity for girls, through both painting and photography that create universal portraits addressing ideas about identity development. Laden's paintings play with the power of beauty, at times succumbing entirely to it, and at other times rejecting it harshly to portray an internal struggle of the female desire for the power of enticement, which comes with beauty, and wanting the power of seriousness, which can deny beauty. Monks' work takes on narrative figuration, playing with the tension between abstraction and realism in the same work and using different filters to visually distort and disintegrate the body. Moore's most recent group of large-scale works, "Second Skin," explores aspects of identity that are revealed by the form and surface of the tattooed or intentionally marked body. Wong uses drawing as an act of exploration, allowing her to depict an emotional state, and sometimes draw from personal ethical confusion in its complexity. Sweeney's "Wave" is a single-channel digital video that layers footage of girls wearing white dresses while swimming underwater in a turquoise pool with reverse-motion imagery of Atlantic Ocean waves, alluding to a power below the surface, myths of nymphs carried out to sea and a subtext of girls gone missing.
Admission to exhibit and reception is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturday, 12 to 5 pm. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/fpa/artgallery. Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall on the university campus, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.