DOYLESTOWN, PA.- The James A. Michener Art Museum
's Outdoor Sculpture Garden hosts Aesthetic Distance, an installation of five sculptures by Philadelphia artist Virginia Maksymowicz from November 14, 2009 through February 28, 2010. Taking inspiration from Roman statues of the Virgin Mary posed atop columns and spires, Aesthetic Distance replaces Mary with sculptures of ordinary women-naked, and out of reach.
"For nearly 35 years, I have been working with types of imagery that address cultural and political issues in nontraditional, but understandable ways," states Maksymowicz, who serves as Associate Professor of Sculpture at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Using a variety of media including clay, wood, concrete, plaster, bronze and cast paper, she aims to create works that are "readable" and that contain familiar aesthetic and historical references. Her recent installations combine representations of the female body with architectural elements.
Maksymowicz adds, "I am especially interested in feminist issues and I focus on the particular circumstances of a range of women, both in past history and in current times. The female figures I use are almost always cast from my own body and the stories I tell have their foundation in some aspect of my personal experience."
A recipient of grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Leeway Foundation and Art Matters magazine, Maksymowicz has exhibited her work at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, Delaware; Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and other institutions. She has written extensively on the work of contemporary sculptors for Sculpture magazine.