Private Relations: An Investigation of Female/Male Human Relationships

Featured Artists

Patrica Gardner, Nancy Nainis Gargiulo, Bill O’Donnell, Melissa Pinney, and Liese Ricketts.

  • October 24, 1993 – November 21, 1993
  • The Del Prado

Few aspects of life generate such broad ranges of emotional response as do our dealings with the “other” sex- the most ecstatic feelings of joy and the darkest spells of anger can both spring from this same source. As a subject for artistic interpretation the relationship between women and men is rich and complex. This is illustrated by the artists represented in this exhibition whose work hinted at but by no means fully revealed the diverse and often contradictory tapestry of who we are together.

Patrica Gardner’s work was a mixed-media exploration of family and familial relationships. More specifically, she explored the dissolution of those relationships and the difficult and occasionally futile work of maintaining them. Through the use of masks, houses, nails, and other strong visual symbols, she presented a survivor’s view of a world in which we are simultaneously “caged in” and “breaking apart” from. Nancy Nainis Gargiulo displayed stitched and otherwise altered three-dimensional assemblages which incorporated portraits of women and men. the artist used a process of polymer transfer to incorporate a photographed image onto three dimensional clay busts. The source imagery was a collection of photos accumulated from family and social gatherings. Bill O’Donnell’s work featured paper doll characters that were cut out from magazine photographs, and then mounted on cardboard. The blurring of some of the photos as well as the difference in scale of the made figures referenced the idea of personal memory and dream. O’Donnell further created relationships between his characters. He cast the figures in various roles, gravitating toward those scenes that appeared like archetypal encounters between parent and child, brother and sister, woman and man. Artist Melissa Ann Pinney’s work attempted to describe the experience of growing up as a female and forming a feminine identity. In photographing ceremonial and ritual events, Pinney focused on the intense self-involvement and camaraderie that characterized the communal work of women getting ready to present themselves to the world. More specifically the photographs depicted adult rituals such as weddings that embody our cultures’ dreams and expectations of women and images of girlhood. Inspired by medical magazines of the 1950’s, in which men experienced “real” ailments and women experienced “hysterical” non-ailments, Liese Ricketts produced a series of images titled “Transference.” The title of this piece referenced the photo-copy transfer process used to produce the images and as well the intuitive/associative methods used to recast their meaning.

Private Relations: An Investigation of Female/Male Human Relationships was curated by Jay Boersma.

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