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Mother Lode

Cheryl McGinnis Gallery
555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 710, at 38th Street, 212-722-1144
Hell's Kitchen
July 18 - August 11, 2006
Reception: Wednesday, July 19, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Participating artists: Serena Buschi, Patty Cateura, Nancy Friedemann, Maddy Rosenberg, Patricia Udell, Jessica Daryl Winer

Mother Lode is a group show of women artists whose work explores the spatial, mathematical and aesthetic aspects of architecture, landscape, patterning, and self.

Cheryl McGinnis Gallery has always been passionately committed to supporting the work of third-generation feminist artists. Of the twenty artists that are actively represented and exhibited by this gallery, 17 are women. Mother Lode explores the various areas in which these established and emerging third-generation feminists are working.

The “mother’ archetype is one of nurturing and protection. Mothers have always fought individual and political battles to offer their daughters new choices and opportunities. While the Suffragettes and early women’s liberation movement led to monumental changes, men and women are still fraught with confusion about issues that continue to be in flux. The artists represented in Mother Lode find their muse not in asserting power, but in discovering the delicate balance between male and female, ancient and contemporary, exterior and interior, craft and high art, chaos and peace, with charged motifs drawn from domestic environments and boundaries that had been previously passed on and rebelled against throughout history.

By referencing Renaissance architecture and decorative ornamentation, Maddy Rosenberg brings a new vision to an art form formerly represented by males in an “enlightened age” when women were groomed only for marriage, convents or life as a courtesan. Rosenberg’s jewel-like miniatures offer the viewer entry into an expansive alchemy of classical precision fused with mathematical twists. With PDAs and cell phones, contemporary women are now organizing their lives into such micro-spaces.

The act of mixing extends to both kitchen and palette. Patty Cateura not only mixes flavorful colors, but also her own pigments to create vibrant hues that chemically and viscerally react to their surroundings. During the Renaissance, the practice of producing pigments from natural ores and elements was a secretive process shared by masters with their male apprentices. Cateura’s almost abstract landscapes blend new, fabricated shades and shapes that balance between natural and synthetic with computer-like imagery rendered by human hands.

The repetitive movements of lace-making and textile patterning are a language associated with women of different cultures and eras. Painted 2-dimensionally on mylar with enamel, Nancy Friedemann weaves her own spatial dialect derived from her Columbian heritage. The lyrical filigrees, also reminiscent of Renaissance costume and class, move with their own momentum as if creatures in another reality, no longer existing only to adorn an ornamental woman.

Regardless of style, all of these women are the new “mothers” whose legacy challenges us to find balance and truth in our own lives while forging forward into an unresolved future.
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