The Gold Standard, on view at Bellevue Arts Museum
from March 18 through August 1, 2010, is Lisa Gralnick's most recent body of work, spanning over the last six years. A metalsmith by trade, Gralnick explores the relationship between gold's lore and history as an artistic medium and the function it serves in today's world as a commodity. Thought-provoking and incredibly well-crafted, the artists jewelry and sculptural works descend deep into the psychology and perception of value.
The Gold Standard is a series comprised of three parts. In Part I: Commodification and Sensible Economy, Gralnick casts recognizable commodities and objects in 18k gold and plaster. The amount of gold used on each piece represents the monetary value of the depicted object. Part II: Phenomenology and Substantialism was borne out of the artists need to recycle gold from discarded jewelry and objects she collected. Gralnick "recorded" these objects before melting them down by casting them in plaster, leaving an eerie ghost of each object, sacrificed in order to fabricate a new creation. "I am fascinated by the endless cycle of matter, and of the cultural history that has evolved because of both the destruction and creation of objects," Gralnick says about her work. In Part III: Transubstantiation and the Historicized Object, the artist employs the recycled gold to create an ironic collection of objects with invented histories genuine forgeries informed by her own history and her fascination with times past. With each section, the artist delves further into the unique aspects of value both personal and societal.
Lisa Gralnick completed her BFA in 1977 from Kent State University and earned her MFA from State University of New York, New Paltz with a focus on gold and silversmithing in 1980. She served as the head of the Metals Program at Parsons School of Design in New York City (1991 - 2001) before she accepted her current position as Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her work can be found in many permanent collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian Institution), Museum of Arts and Design (NY), Boston Museum of Fine Arts, American Craft Museum (NY), Racine Art Museum (WI), Mizuno College of Jewellery (Japan) and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam).
Lisa Gralnick: The Gold Standard is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Nora Atkinson.