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Body Mapping

Allen Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 5th Floor, 917-202-3206
August 1 - August 31, 2008
Reception: Thursday, August 7, 6 - 8 PM
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Allen Gallery is pleased to announce Body Mapping, a group show featuring the works of Tina Blondell, Kaethe Kauffman, Gierede Montvila and Eileen Senner. This all-woman show examines how individuals mark their bodies for religious, magical, and aesthetic reasons, and for purposes of belonging. We are thrilled to bring these artists together from all different areas of the country and world. Each of which has a clearly unique interpretation of the body and use of medium yet all deliver a cohesive message.

Blondell’s work current body of work retells the stories of women, mythical and biblical, real and imagined. These archetypal images enquire into the essence of human experience revealed in feminine form. The artist’s own realization of how she had been marked by events and emotions became clear in her identification with the fragile and fearless figures that emerged from her imagination. Through the creative process, pain had been transformed into beauty. What began as an inward, healing process moved outward to reclaim the history of images of the feminine, ranging from the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf to present-day women who embody the energy of their female antecedents.

Kauffman received her MFA in Studio Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine, having previously studied at the University of London, in Yugoslavia (University of Belgrade), Spain (Institute de Bellas Artes) and one year of graduate study at the Instituto Allende (Universidad de Guanajuato) in Mexico. Dr. Kauffman earned a Ph.D. with a dissertation on The Belief System of the Art Avant-Garde. She teaches Studio and Art History classes as an Associate Professor, Chaminade University in Honolulu. Her current body of work aims to explore the subsurface movement of muscles. Kauffman uses pigment soaked yarn to highlight body positions and muscle movements.

Montvila was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 1949, she immigrated to the United States, settling in Queens, NY. Montvila began her art education at the High School of Music and Art, and at Queens College she developed her interest in life drawing. She continued her art studies at the Catan Rose Institute of Art and at The Art Students League. By the mid-1990’s Montvila had started to develop her ongoing series, a provocative critique of images of glamour and decadence. Of this current series, Montvila says, “We are accosted by thousands of images from every source; the ability to separate reality from the false view has ripped this reality into discordant views formed by extremes that we are subjected to incessantly. My paintings record this discord by showing what the media strives to influence, that is, their ability to control what we see, think and act upon. The ripped papers, in my paintings, signify how fragmented these images are and how they attack up on every level.”

Senner grew up on a beef and wheat farm in Hutchinson, KS. It was not until her second year at Bethel College, while taking a drawing class, that Senner realized that art was to be her path. With this “immediate conversion”, she switched her major from music to art, graduating in 1967. The current paintings explore images of largely non-gendered torsos emerging out of an indefinite dark ground. Painted in oil and alkyds on small (16” x 12”) wood panels, these works establish a stark figure-ground contrast, as the bodies themselves take form with a veiled and indistinct quality. The work develops without the artist precisely knowing where it is headed. Repeatedly, thin glaze layers of paint are added, then sanded, new layers added, and sanded over a period of easily several months or even years. These paintings explore what it is, as a human being, to be embodied. They enquire into the conundrum of having both a head and a body-a consciousness and a physical self. Immensely mysterious, even as it serves as a pedestal for the head, this body always asks the question, “Where does the me reside?”

Body Mapping will be on display August 1st – August 31st with the Opening reception being Thursday, August 7th from 6 to 8 PM. For more questions regarding the show please contact Michel Allen at Allen Gallery at 917-202-3206 or [email protected]
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcal-7585 to see them here.