Ask John or Jane Q. Public to name a famous woman visual artist and, invariably, the answer will be Frida Kahlo, Oâ€™Keefe, Nevelson, or possibly Mary Cassatt or even Grandma Moses and that pretty much covers the field. But if you contact the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, youâ€™ll discover that they have more than 18,000 women artists archived and celebrated, and counting. Their collection began in the 60â€™s in response to male domination in major art exhibitions and has inspired others to value the work of women artists and the unique perspectives that such work offers both John and Jane Public.
Enter David and Carter Boyajian, the wunderkind behind Sculpture Barn in Southwestern, CT as they present three women assemblage artists from the region â€“ Erin Walrath, Eleanor White and Natasha Cohen â€“ in ASSEMBLAGE: Pieces of Her. The show opens Sunday, September 7th and runs through Saturday, October 4th at the stunning gallery where Louise Nevelson once worked and played. The Sunday, September 7th, 4 pm to 7 pm opening reception at the Barn will also feature a short moving poetry piece by Natasha Schappert in complement to the works displayed.
Erin Walrath, who often incorporates recycled materials in her work, â€œa â€˜foragingâ€™ of sorts,â€ was born in Danbury, CT and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the distinguished Rhode Island School of Design in 2000. Before that, she spent two years in Rome in the Honors Program, and this year, saw her â€˜White Cube 3â€™ exhibited in the Piazza Mattei there. She says of her pieces, â€œBy assembling little windows, glimpses of, or in the very best case, vistas onto the roles we play and the beliefs we cling to, I find myself fully immersed in a creative process that is really a spiritual discipline of watching, seeing, assimilating and distilling meaning.â€
Eleanor White, of Beacon, NY, echoes Walrathâ€™s commentary: â€œI often use ephemeral elements in my sculpture which exemplifies the play in my work between structured form and the ever-shifting territory that is real life, organic substance and process.â€ A full scholarship Jacob Javits Fellow, she earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at Maryland Institute College of Art, Rinehart School of Sculpture. Her work was included in an international exhibition of womenâ€™s art in 2000, held at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York.
The exhibitionâ€™s trio is completed by Natasha Cohen of Salisbury, CT. Her â€˜assemblagesâ€™ challenge, provoke, humor, subvert and engage. In a recent gallery review in The New York Times, her style was compared to that of the Surrealist Max Ernst. Her work has been seen at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, NY and in Barcelona, Spain.
The sculpture and collage by Erin Walrath, Eleanor White and Natasha Cohen truly reflect the sophistication and innovation that have become Sculpture Barn trademarks.
ASSEMBLAGE: Pieces of Her opens on Sunday, September 7th with a reception from 4 to 7 pm. Sculpture Barnâ€™s Gallery hours are Wednesdays - Sundays, noon to 6 pm. Located in Southwestern, CT at 3 Milltown Road at Route 39 in New Fairfield, nestled between the Litchfield Hills to the north, the culturally rich Hudson River Valley region to the west and Fairfield county to the south. Sculpture Barn is a self supporting art center dedicated to fostering dialogue between contemporary artists, collectors, and the public through exhibitions, classes, and performance events. For more information and directions, visit www.sculpturebarn.com or call (203) 746.6101.