According to the literature for this exhibit of sculptures by Vanessa German, “when assembled together, these power figures resemble an army of women on the march”. German creates them from a plethora of found objects. The mannequin parts are plastered and tarred then assembled and dressed via wiring, sewing and gluing the objects in place, adding jewelry and dress that evokes some form of armor.
They become modern soldiers lined up in effect, like those terra-cotta figurines found at the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang in China. It is incredibly breathtaking and powerful to witness. The work is in the Sculpture Court and in the Wampler and Robineau Galleries on the first floor of the Everson Museum of Art (400 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York).
Tonight was the art reception for this exhibit titled de.structive dis.tillation (a nod to the chemical construction of tar), as well as for the Bradley Walker Tomlin retrospective. I will be attending an in-service for teachers in March that focuses on the latter. I titled this post Army of Thieves because the German sculptures stole the show, which is totally ironic in that the upstairs galleries are full of local artists work and that has ALWAYS been my dream for the Everson, lol, and includes my colleagues and former S.U. professors in its mix. Vanessa German is a product of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
German’s dolls are meant to tell the story of/create a dialogue about the social injustices of the African-American experience. It’s to do with destructing in order to construct. Rebuilding a world and giving voice to a type of commitment to peace, joy and love in spite of challenges. The result is the whimsical and harmonious sound of texture, a cultural heritage-based beauty and personification that has the potential to resonate for everyone in our community.
It is the flavor of intense joy. There is so much to see here! Flea market finds that take your breath away. Attention to detail with regard to fabric and fibers. The sculptures are skateboarding and riding tricycles, standing on soap boxes and rejoicing as they stand for one’s tears and for the healing hope of a better future.
You need to see them! I really ought to plan a field trip for my Studio in Art students. We just finished creating sculpture/mobiles of paratroopers using plaster, found objects and humanoid forms, so, this would be right up their alley.
The exhibit continues through May 7, 2017. The Everson is planning a day camp for students during the week of Mid-Winter recess (that starts a week from today). Go to their web-site for more information or call them at (315) 474-6064. They will also be doing a Saturday workshop for children, and in addition, several events such as family day and docent led tours of the exhibitions. <3