"A Complex Weave" At USC's Fisher Museum
A Complex Weave will please both audiences interested in artistic techniques as well as those that are intrigued by the roles of women in the contemporary world. The art displays are separated into a number of sub-themes: Complex Geographies, Image and Text, Childhood and Family, Accessories and The Female Body, each exploring the contexts of these artists and their sense of self as females.
One might have imagined a gallery filled with strong feminist pieces that would depict women as equals to men. However, A Complex Weave went beyond those expectations. Instead of a parade of predictable strong women, (not that there’s anything wrong with that) this collection spoke with something personal and distinctive about each of these female artists.
Walking into the Fisher Museum, you are first greeted by the gallery focusing on childhood and family relationships. Immediately, I was drawn to a piece by Judy Gelles titled Family Ties: Toys. Gelles explores the roles of mothers and their maternal behaviors within familial relationships through the use of objects such as toys or clothing. Her work launches you into the age-old controversial sexist stereotypes of women only as mothers.
Most of the works in the exhibit mimicked that of Judy Gelles, in that every artist questioned a unique part of their personal experience while engaging interaction with the viewer.
A series of artworks that particularly caught my eye was the Finding Home paintings by Siona Benjamin. Benjamin explores the experiences of a woman named Lilith and her feelings towards emigrating to America. Lilith’s story is encapsulated in a meticulously crafted sequence of paintings and drawings. I was certainly intrigued by Benjamin’s use of color and visuals and would love to explore more about her fusion of cultural and ethnic backgrounds with American customs and styles.
Another point of interest was the alluring digital pop art of Fujiko Isomura that encapsulates her perspective on the impacts of western culture in her home city of Tokyo. Fujiko’s usage of contemporary digital techniques to homogenize two very different types of artistic techniques creates a masterpiece that is both visually appealing and almost humorous.
A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art will be both an intellectual and entertaining experience for any type of audience.
The exhibition is free and will be on display at the USC Fisher Museum until December 1, 2012.
Reach contributing writer Bo Chan here.