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The FLAG Art Foundation presents "Patricia Cronin: Shrine for Girls, New York"
Patricia Cronin: Shrine for Girls at The FLAG Art Foundation on view through August 12, 2016.

NEW YORK, NY.- The FLAG Art Foundation is presenting Patricia Cronin: Shrine for Girls, New York from June 9 – August 12, 2016, on FLAG’s 10th floor gallery. Originally presented as a Collateral Event for the 56th Venice Biennale, Shrine for Girls is a poetic sculptural installation and a meditation on the global plight of exploited girls and women who have been victimized, brutally silenced, and written out of history simply because of their gender. After its New York presentation, the project will travel in 2017-18 to India, Ireland, and Nigeria – the locations of the events that inspired the work.

Cronin gathered hundreds of articles of women’s and girls’ clothing from around the world to represent three specific tragedies: brightly-colored saris symbolize two Indian cousins who were gang-raped and lynched from a tree at the edge of their village; Hijabs signify 276 Nigerian Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped and sexually victimized by the terrorist group Boko Haram in 2013 – 200 of whom still remain missing; and gray and white aprons & uniforms symbolize those worn by “fallen women,” in forced labor at the Magdalene Asylums and Laundries in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the U.S.

Moving from the marble alters and sacred architecture of Venice’s sixteenth-century Chiesa di San Gallo to the secular gallery context of FLAG, Cronin will present the same three fabric sculptures, here piled on top of their shipping crates to now address issues of human trafficking as well as human rights issues. The installation of clothing, of what the missing bodies would have inhabited, provokes an emotional and visceral response to what is absent. Small photographs of each tragedy accompany the sculptures and provide very real context for the work. A new series of watercolor portraits place a human face on tragedy and amplify the “identifiable victim effect,”1 drawing our attention away from statistics to the magnitude of the individual loss and unrealized human potential.

Cronin asks: “What is the role of contemporary art in our 24-hour news cycle society? What can an artist do if they are not a politician, a policy maker or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? Hopefully the artist looks out, keenly observes the world, reflects, and responds in a way that shakes us out of our numbness. We cannot be silent.”

A fully illustrated catalogue for Shrine for Girls, Venice is available, including essays by Phong Bui, Ludovico Pratesi, and Maura Reilly, published by Silvana Editoriale (Milan). Shrine for Girls, Venice was curated by Ludovico Pratesi and presented by The Brooklyn Rail Curatorial Projects, with lead support provided by The Fuhrman Family Foundation and The FLAG Art Foundation.

Patricia Cronin (b. 1963, Beverly, Massachusetts) is an artist living and working in New York, NY. Since the early 90's, Cronin has garnered international attention for her photographs, paintings, and sculptures that address contemporary issues of gender and sexuality. Reinvigorating traditional images and forms with social justice themes, her critically acclaimed statue, Memorial To A Marriage , 2002, a thee ton Carrara marble mortuary sculpture of Cronin and her life partner was made before gay marriage was legal in the U.S., and has been exhibited widely across the country and abroad. Recent solo exhibitions include Shrine For Girls , Venice, Chiesa di San Gallo, Solo Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2015); Le Macchine, Gli Dei e I Fantasmi [NOTE: do we need the English translation – Machines, Gods and Ghosts?], Musei Capitolini, Centrale Montemartini Museo, Rome, Italy (2013); Dante: The Way of All Flesh , fordPROJECT, New York, NY (2012); Patricia Cronin, All Is Not Lost , Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA (2012); and Patricia Cronin: Harriet Hosmer, Lost and Found, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY (2009-10); among others. Cronin’s works has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including Global Positioning Systems , Perez Art Museum Miami, FL (2014-15); 1993: Experimental, Jet Set, Trash and No Star , New Museum, New York, NY (2013); Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Industry City, Brooklyn, NY (2013); Watch Your Step, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY (2012); Because We Are, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX (2010); and Sh(out): Contemporary Art and Human Rights, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland (2009). Cronin is the recipient of many awards including the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, Anonymous Was A Woman Award, Civitella Ranieri Fellowship and two Pollock Krasner Foundation Grants. Cronin’s work is included in numerous museums collections including: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL, and Gallery of Modern Art, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, both in Glasgow, Scotland.

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