NEW YORK, NY.- Lyons Wier Gallery
announced "Material Matters," a group exhibition featuring four female artists exploring contemporary notions of identity as seen through their unique artistic endeavors. Using various common mixed media such as thread, ribbon, discarded clothing, beads, and resin, each artist brings a fresh interpretation to their chosen medium transforming the ordinary into extraordinary.
Stephanie Hirsch appropriates iconic, once rebellious, rock-and-roll images that have become somewhat commonplace fashion logos and re-infuses them with personal mantras. Through her use of beads, sequins and embroidery, Hirsch's canvases are literally 'illuminated' with words of enlightenment and hope. Her simple text and quips often cause the viewer to question their moral standings and beliefs, all the while offering aesthetically charged images that are simultaneously foreign and familiar.
Rocio Infestas creates small-scale resin sculptures of baby-like forms. The artist intends them to be read as 'baby gods,' harboring both the divine and profane. Each piece employs iconography alluding to subjects such as fire, ice, and nature, thereby developing a dialogue for the birth of an idea. These resin works serve as a springboard into broader discussions of ecology, global warming, evolution and parental aspirations for their children to live in a better world.
Laura Ortiz Vega resources her personal photographs of graffiti she has taken from around the world as her initial muse to create vibrant landscapes that entice the eye. Her artistic process utilizes the artisanal techniques of the native Huichol Indians of central Mexico as she too 'paints' with colorful threads that are imbedded into natural bees wax called cera de Campeche. Ortiz Vega, born and residing in Mexico City, pays homage to this traditional art form of yarn painting but radically transforms the medium into a contemporary context informed by the social discourse of her subject matter. The merit in her work is how she transforms these outdoor, large scale and sometimes-brutish forms of expression into an intimate and delicate manifestation of the same.
Vadis Turner's current work synthesizes her mixed media palette with her painting background. Ceremonial adornments are partnered with destructive agents to generate compositions that are between identities. Satin ribbons and flowers are fixed in a stilled transitional state inspired by stages of fire, mold or submergence. The union engages, consumes and repurposes the decorative materials creating an intersection where color theory, abstraction, assemblage and feminism meet head on. The artist's innate color sensibilities and energy pay tribute to the New York School of Abstract Expressionist and Action painters such as Joan Mitchell and Willem De Kooning, by employing broad strokes of color. Through Ms. Turner's exquisite and unique use of materials such as ribbon, clothing, antique quilts, lace and yarn, the artist continues to explore and exploit traditional 'feminine' materials and creates a contemporary dialogue as found in the works of female artists such as Petah Coyne and Shinique Smith.