Portia Munson Sarah Frost Aurora Robson
P·P·O·W Gallery is pleased to present the work of Sarah Frost, Portia Munson and Aurora Robson in a three-person exhibition entitled Debris. Each artist will contribute a major installation consisting entirely of mass-produced plastic refuse transformed into fantastical art environments. Though connected by choice of material, each project is completely independent.
In 1994, well before the terms “eco-friendly”, “green revolution” or even “re-cycling” were household words, PORTIA MUNSON’s Pink Project was the stand out art work in the New Museum’s now legendary Bad Girls exhibition. This will be the first reconstruction of this project in New York since it was originally shown. Consisting of thousands of found pink plastic and rubber objects spread out on a table, this careful arrangement of society’s junk cast-offs causes visual overload, instilling simultaneous delight and disgust within the viewer. The nightmarish array of objects created to appeal to women and girls, includes hair curlers, pacifiers, fingernails, combs, dildos, barrettes, toys, tampons, kitchen gadgets and hundreds of other items representing the conclusion of mass consumption and seduction. Pink Project was an inspirational piece that preceded society’s global attention to the environment and foreshadowed the art world’s response to it as well. In fact, Pink Project was originally reviewed almost entirely as a treatise on feminism rather than the environment. There will also be a new work entitled Green Piece: Sarcophagus, that is a continuation of her practice, and speaks directly to the commodification of the of the green ethos.
This will be SARAH FROST’s first time exhibiting in New York. Like Munson and Robson, Frost scavenges her materials from items she can find either at garage sales or garbage bins. Creating a second life for these objects is what interests Frost, as each object carries traces of its previous life. In Debris, Frost will install huge sculptures lining the walls of the entrance gallery, completely made out of keys from cast off keyboards discarded by an array of users from individuals and small businesses to financial institutions, government offices and Fortune 500 companies. Each key has a unique history and bears the imprint of the thousands of taps by countless users. Frost hopes to convey both the material effects of consumer culture and its connection to human mortality.
In the main gallery, Canadian-born AURORA ROBSON will install elaborate sculptures made from found plastic from a series called Landmines. Robson’s project is activist in intention, she states:
“When there is a negative or downward trajectory of motion inherent to a material, I like to focus my energy on changing that direction. For example, the work I’ve been doing with plastic bottles—without intervention, used plastic bottles have basically 2 options: becoming landfill, or maybe getting recycled. In the past year, I have intercepted approximately 40,000 bottles from the waste stream, turning them into art instead of allowing them to go into landfill, our oceans, or the environmentally costly recycling process.”
The final result of her project of reduction of the waste stream is an environment that is part overwhelming wonderland fantasy and part horror show. The artist enjoys the fact the viewer does not at first realize that they are looking at garbage. Transformation as well as production is the key to Robson’s work.
PORTIA MUNSON (1961) resides in the Catskills in NY. She had her first one-person show at White Columns in 1993 and has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions including: The New Museum, NY, Art in General, NY, Museum of Contemporary Art/Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, Finland, Kunstahallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odensec, Denmark, Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WY and Yoshii Gallery. Munson has two upcoming solo exhibitions: Color Forms, Mass MoCa, North Adams, MA Liebowitz Gallery, Bard at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, MA.
SARAH FROST (1967) was born in Detroit and grew up in Rochester, NY. Frost’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions regionally. She has also received numerous awards and grants, including the Riverfront Times’ Visual Arts Mastermind award in 2008 and grants from Arts in Transit and the Missouri Arts Council. Most recently she won the Great Rivers Biennial 2010, funded by the Gateway Foundation and has an upcoming solo exhibition at Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis. She currently lives and works in St. Louis.
AURORA ROBSON (1972) was born in Toronto Canada. Recent solo exhibitions include Land Mines, Salve Regina University Art Gallery, Newport, RI, Honor System, Project 4 Gallery, Washington, DC and The Great Indoors, Rice Gallery, (large scale installation) Houston, TX. She is the recipient of The New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Sculpture and The Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, in addition to many more awards and has had numerous articles written about her work, including the extensive 2009 article in Art in America, In The Studio: Aurora Robson, by Edward M. Gomez.