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Virginia Maksymowicz

Architectural Overlays

mixed media works

Exhibit: January 13 – February 3, 2016

Artist’s talk and reception: Tuesday, January 26, 6 – 8 pm

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This exhibition explores the link between the human body and architecture through a variety of media: sculpture, photography, drawing and printmaking.

Over the past two decades, Maksymowicz has created pieces for very particular architectural spaces such as gallery corners, small rooms with overhead ductwork, and parlors with fireplaces. Along the way, the artist has read the architectural theories of Vitruvius, Jacques-François Blondel and Joseph Rykwert, attempting to connect them visually in metaphorical and narrative contexts.

Caryatids in Five Books, Comparisons and Caryatid explore a type of imagery that holds immense metaphorical potential in this regard. Baskets of produce and bread, acanthus, Demeter and Persephone . . . all overlaid onto women’s bodies placed in the service of structural columns. The caryatid is both a familiar architectural convention, and the visual summation of human life and women’s fundamental role in supporting it. The former considers sculptures of stone and women of flesh, in words and pictures, literally and metaphorically, imprinted and poised on precarious pedestals. The second pairs architectural details and images of woman from a variety of ethnic traditions. The third is an installation combining an eight-foot high drawing of a caryatid with casts of architectural elements and loaves of bread in a mythological mix.

The Cornice Portraits look at another connection between the human body and the built environment. Maksymowicz has inverted Blondel’s architectural theories—which propose that the proportions for cornice moldings should derive from classical concepts of the ideal human profile—by designing cornices based on the actual profiles of a selection of ordinary-looking artists.

Virginia Maksymowicz is an Associate Professor of Art at Franklin & Marshall College, PA.  She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and an M.F.A. in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. She has exhibited her work at the Franklin Furnace, Alternative Museum, the Elizabeth Foundation,  Grey Gallery  and MoMA/Library in New York City, as well as in college, university and nonprofit galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad. Locally, her sculptures have been shown at the Michener Museum (Doylestown), the Woodmere Museum (Philadelphia), the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts and the Delaware Art Museum (both Wilmington).

She is a past recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in sculpture and grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Leeway Foundation. Her artwork has been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine, The New York TimesNew York NewsdayThe New Art Examiner and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her series, The History of Art, appears on the cover of The Female Body, published by the University of Michigan Press (1991).

Virginia Maksymowicz has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome (three times), an artist-in-residence at the Powel House Museum in Philadelphia, and a fellow at the Vermont Studio Center. Before coming to F&M, she taught at Oberlin College in Ohio, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Wayne State University, and the Moore College of Art and Design.

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