Being Women Sculptors: A Dialogue of Views

Featured Artists

Monica Bock, Melissa J. Craig, Michele Feder-Nadoff, Rory Leonard, Marcia Weese, and Gina Hartig Williams.

  • September 8, 1991 – October 5, 1991
  • The Del Prado

Curated by Timothy Willms and Lia Alexopoulous, this exhibition showcased the work of six Chicago area women artists whose gender played a significant role in the development of their work. Artist Monica Bock‘s work dealt with her, “concerns for the potential constraints of life inside the female body.” Bock used objects from the domestic realm, the traditional realm of miniaturization, and trivialization to explore notions of choice, love, loss, longing, self-sacrifice, self-realization, mysticism and social empowerment. Combining religious (particularly Buddhist) imagery with symbols of the many aspects of female sexuality, Bocks’ piece Family Jewels investigated conflicting perspectives toward being female. Melissa Jay Craig, who worked with assemblage, installation, and altered books, offered a personal interpretation of illness. Her work in this exhibition was motivated by “dichotomy, ritual, obsession (her own and observing others’), the implications behind the familiar, double-edged humor, sensuality, and finding objects and placing them in and out of context.” Craig described the small-scale installations as small theater sets in which the viewer might compose a personal script based on the objects presented.

Artist Michele Feder-Nadoff work was created in genera or families. The members of each group could be rearranged, regrouped, or seen alone. The endless combination with each non-art object were central aspects to her work on view and as a result the sculptures in the exhibition did not have the conventional closures of completion. Feder-Nadoff worked in ceramic and bronze casting, to create objects that retained a sense of their own creation that evoked images of the history of the Earth and past civilizations. The wood sculptures and paint on paper drawings of Rory Leonard explored the ideas of antimony. The work investigated contradictions and antitheses in forms that combined painting, sculpture and architecture. Leonard elegant, curvilinear larger than human scale forms made out of wood, paint and metal encouraged the viewer to interact at varying distances. While artist Marcia Weese‘s sculpture that incorporated living plants and organic matter explored the natural environment of the Chicago landscape. Meta Morpho and Talking Book were the two pieces on display in this exhibition. Gina Hartig Williams‘ inquiry into an intangible physical property or theory inspired her to build vessels which functioned as metaphoric illusions, that conceptually translated into the struggle of understanding what weaves the material and the immaterial world into a balanced and comprehensive whole.