New Jersey Stage

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

THE CONTEMPORARY FEMALE EXPERIENCE - "Body Mind and Hair"

(GLASSBORO, NJ) -– 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.

"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 These works utilize historical references from art and literature – with contemporary imagery and perspectives – that at times challenge accepted views and at other times are in harmony with them.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 and New York - include Alison Brady, Yoon Cho, Wanda Ewing, Laura Frazure, Deborah Hamon, Jenny Laden, Alyssa Monks, Anastasia Owell and Kathleen Sweeney. Frazure, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, will be guest speaker at the reception.

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. Frazure, attentive to classical ideas about form, sense and its communicative potential, models figures that are theatrical and contemporary, highlighting form and form development with no subsequent meditational processes. 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. Owell 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.