Sept 8 – Nov 24, 2007
Opening Reception, Saturday, September 8th, 6-9pm
Featured artists include: Lisa Clague, Cynthia Consentino, Debra Fritts, Linda Ganstrom, Marie E.v.B. Gibbons, Margaret Keelan, Coeleen Kiebert, Beth Lo, Janis Mars Wunderlich, Kathryn Rush, Kathy Ruttenberg, Esther Shimazu, Nan Smith, Cheryl Tall, and Patti Warashina
Since its inception three years ago, AMOCA has produced a number of exhibitions that featured legendary, post World War II, artists. This male-dominated period of dramatic change resulted in an upward shift in the status of ceramics. At the time, Abstract Expressionism, which was originally embraced by painters in the 1940s, affected the ceramic realm as well, translating to a preference for large-scale, roughly textured, slash-and-rip, abstract, wheel-thrown objects. Form and Imagination: Women Ceramic Sculptors is offered as a contrast to these past exhibitions. The work is representational, content driven, symbolically rich, and expressly based on the human form.
Form and Imagination: Women Ceramic Sculptors includes the work of fifteen female artists from across the US whose figurative art has a narrative quality. The visual scenarios vary, but the works are unified through common experiences as mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, or simply women. Some pieces have a playful twist or fairytale-like quirkiness, while others specialize in irony or satire. Several works offer social commentary, and a few reference spiritual truths. The forms include figurines, dolls, torsos, and still lifes.
This exhibition asks an important question, “Do women bring a unique perspective to figurative sculpture?” Whether genetically predisposed or socially conditioned, little girls are motivated by imaginative drama and role playing, projecting themselves as fashion divas, teddy bear caretakers, or princess “wannabes.” The sculptures in this exhibition, physically illustrate
qualities related to “girl activities” – fine detail, elaborate costuming, mask making, doll-like forms and more. The thought processes that drive women are often described as excessively introspective. Women artists are by nature predisposed to be “thinking” artists, stirred by vivid dreams, spiritual/religious connections, intense emo
tions, real-life experiences, memories, or what is often referred to as woman’s intuition. In day-to-day communication, women seem inclined to elaborate story-telling – embellished, embroidered, saturated with nuances, and played out with expansive telling, dissection, and examination.
Organized with the intent to inspire conversation and encourage discussion, this exhibition offers a multitude of compare/contrast opportunities. Some works are all white clay; some are color – glaze, or even acrylic paint – and some incorporate mixed media. There are highly textured surfaces, while others are smooth as glass. A number of women who have used similar imagery: rabbits, flowers, dolls, pop-culture items, and even guns. Two artists deal with sisterhood; several allude to childhood or aging. By their very nature, these differences and similarities, along with additional matched or mismatched distinctions, invite opinion.