PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery
of the University of the Arts is presenting the Philadelphia one-person premier of New York sculptor Michelle Segre.
Michelle Segre was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1965 and received her BFA in 1987 from Cooper Union School of Art.
Segres organic works are an eclectic amalgam of new age naturalism joined with Arte Povera. In her early work, she constructed large-scale naturalistic enlargements of mushrooms and of bones, perhaps sharing a kinship with Nancy Graves or Roxy Paine. These conceptual structures, however, were only the starting point; she now creates monoliths of assembled allusions, chimeras of consciousness, exploring various biomorphic iconographies, mycelia exploding into open fiber or wire webs. Space is punctuated and punctured, wire is used as line, threads connect objects suspended in space. She works with illusion and radically eclectic materials: papier mậché, driftwood, loaves of bread, mold, fungus references that spiral outward into the world with nonlinear, psychedelic abandon. We notice analogies to Native American Gods Eyes and macramé, her fiberworks like Faith Wilding and Annette Messanger. Her use of bright color harks back to Yves Klein and forward to Franz West. Although this color might initially seem playful, a closer examination points to issues of life, death and transcendence: ways of sustaining a soulful artistic practice.
Segre has been exhibiting since 1988 and has had eighteen one-person shows. She has been in many group shows in the United States and abroad, among them Greater New York at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, Queens (2005); Curious Crystals of Unusual Purity at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (2004); Ballpoint Inklings at K.S. Art, New York (2003); By Hand: Pattern, Precision and Repetition in Contemporary Drawing at the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, CA (2001); Almost Warm and Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center and Fundacio la Caixa, Barcelona, Spain (2001); Fresh: the Altoids Curiously Strong Collection at the New Museum, New York (2001); and Here: Artists Interventions at the Aldrich Museum at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT (1998). Her works are in the collections of numerous institutions including the Museum of Modern Art; the New Museum, New York; the Katonah Museum, Katonah, New York; the Tang Teaching Museum in Sarasota, New York; and the Colorado University Art Museum, Boulder. Reviews have been published in Artforum, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Hyperallergic, Bomb, The New York Times, Artcritical, The Brooklyn Rail, Los Angeles Times, Modern Painters, The New Art Examiner, Flash Art and others. Segre received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2001. She is represented by Derek Eller Gallery in New York.
This exhibition is free and open to the public.