"Clothing isn't just to wear, it can be transmuted into sculpture, with all its implications- metaphor, poetry, narrative and form that represents the human body.
Martha Posner doesn't make sculpture from real clothing, she creates forms of wire and stiffened fabric that mimic common garments such as coats and shirts. But while the references in her exhibition at the Allentown Art Museum are familiar, the effects they produce have nothing to do with adornment.
They evoke mystery, myth, even a mild terror- one 'shirt' is studded with wicked looking thorns from a locust tree.
These are fairy-tale sculptures in the best sense. The half-torsos called "bird shirts" allude to a tale called 'The Wild Swans,' in which the brothers of a beutiful princess are changed into swans.
Posner uses materials such as artificial hair, feathers and vines to achieve a primitive look. Yet the pieces communicate fragility and even, in the case of the striking floor-length 'coat,' grace.
The spirit of Posner's work is dark, with vague sexual overtones. These are most prominent in a large canoe form festooned with vines and hair and in a scarlet coverlet nestled in a bower of vines.
Red Bed looks inviting, but one senses that anyone who napped on it might not wake up."
-Edward J. Sozanski, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Friday, September 20, 2002