Traywick Contemporary is pleased to announce She was moving, even when she stood still, an exhibition exploring the extensive influence of female vision and thought. From ground-breaking scientists to insightful family members, prominent artists to commanding writers, this exhibition gives voice to the inspirational and often unsung heroes behind a range of current art approaches. The show highlights a handful of artists whose work and deep engagement in the world has been shaped in profound ways by the female perspective.
Through sculpture, video, drawing, and painting, Patte Loper’s weaves together interests in biology, society and history. Her recent paintings were created during a residency at the Yaddo Artist Colony, which was founded by author and poet Katrina Trask (1853 – 1922). Featured in the show is Loper’s epic eight-part painting depcting a utopian feminist landscape, based on the grounds’ extensive gardens. The statuary and plaques in Yaddo Protest Garden are inspired by the writings of neo-feminist Silvia Federici and the Green New Deal legislation proposed by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
For the last fifteen years, Emilie Clark’s practice has involved inserting herself into the lives of 19th century female scientists — recreating their experiments in the context of her 21st century, mostly urban life. In her most recent works on paper, Clark focuses on the work of American environmental chemist Ellen Swallow Henrietta Richards (1842-1911), the first woman to receive a degree from MIT as well its first female professor. Richards studied air, water and food and is credited with introducing the word “ecology” into the English language. Influenced by Richard’s focus on the interconnectivity of all things, Clark’s new series of watercolors fuse imagery from the vast networks and complicated ecosystems that surround us.
Keris Salmon, an artist with roots in journalism, has spent years documenting and researching both personal and collective histories. In her recent body of work, Salmon looks to 19th century English botanist Anna Atkins (1799-1871), whose book of cyanotype photograms, Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, is considered to be the first book illustrated with photographic images. In a similar approach, Salmon created a series of cyanotypes using vintage glass prints, including slavery-era images, which remind us that photographs, like memory, can both record and distort history.
Rachel Davis’s watercolors address notions of change, while exploring the ways in which the environment and human-driven forces shape our lives and perception of the world around us. Davis’s newest body of work references Daily Rituals: Women at Work, a collection of profiles of creative women by Mason Currey which explores the impact of daily obstacles and routines. Visualizing the multiple roles working women balance, Davis’ abstracted fractals and faceted shapes balancing within invented landscapes speak to the porous nature of “female” characteristics, and also a resistance to the constraints traditionally imposed by gender.
Exploring the human condition through the poetics of landscape, Amanda Marchand’s photographs are meditations on shifting color and light that reflect a state of being rather than a specific place. Recently, her practice has included lumen printing, a camera-less photographic process in which photo paper is exposed to excessive light, uncovering latent colors. Works from this series, The World is Astonishing with You in it: A 21st Century Field Guide to the Birds, Ferns and Wildflowers, uses field guides that belonged to Marchand’s mother, whose encyclopedic knowledge of nature has had a lasting impact on Marchand and her practice.
Amy Nathan’s sculptures are playful articulations of the permeable boundaries between image, line and object. Nathan’s new body of work is inspired by Emily Wilson’s recent translation of the Odyssey into English — the first by a woman — whose critical perspective serves as an important counter point to the male point of view in previous translations. Pressure Fit/Penelope consists of painted poles that have been pressure fit between the floor and the ceiling. The bowed tension and hinged ceramic foot armor at the base of each transforms a minimalist architectural gesture into a crowd of anthropomorphic objects that appear to be walking through the space.