For Immediate Release:
February 23th – March 31, 2012
Reception: Thurs., Feb., 23 from 6pm to 8pm
NEW YORK, NY, FEBRUARY 2012 - ACCOLA GRIEFEN GALLERY is pleased to announce the opening of –Martha Posner: Frozen Charlotte and Other Stories. The exhibition will open with a reception on Thursday, February 23 from 6 - 8 PM and continue through March 31, 2012.
Martha Posner’s work is marked by an “emotional rawness” which is due in part to her evocative and corporeal transformation of materials: beeswax, synthetic hair, pigment, mud, fabric and fibers. (Ann Landi, ArtNews) Her sculpture and drawing combine autobiography, mythology, alchemy, history and fairy tales.
In her earlier work, Posner’s signature garments are empty vessels filled with associations. In the artist’s newest sculptural series, Under, the previously omitted figures have taken form. Their life-size child-like bodies are caught in a moment of transformation. The implied movements and added life forms suggest pagan mythology yet leave themselves open to other stories. In addition to the sculptural work, a Victorian doll that was given to girls as a cautionary tale at the turn of the 20th century inspires the drawings in the Frozen Charlotte Series. All the work addresses the questions at the core of Posner’s practice: What makes an object greater than its materials? Why is the mask of a shaman or the surface of a Greek icon more than feathers, wood and paint? When is the moment of transformation?
Martha Posner has had solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad: Centro Cultural de Cooperacion, Buenos Aries, Argentina; Heidi Cho Gallery, New York City; The Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA; The Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ; Albright College Museum, Reading, PA; The Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL and The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland OH, among others. Her work is held by numerous private and public collections including The George Gund Foundation, The Allentown Art Museum, The Butler Museum of Art, Youngstown, OH; and the Great Northern Corporate Center, Cleveland, OH. She has received the Mary H. Dana Award from Rutgers University, The Experimental Printmaking Award from Lafayette College as well as Fellowships from The Ragdale Foundation and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Posner lives and works on a farm in Martins Creek, Pennsylvania.
Accola Griefen Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For more information visit accolagriefen.com, contact Kat Griefen at email@example.com or call 646-532-3488.
A site specific mixed media installation at the Urban Arts Festival, Lafayette College, Easton PA. From spring - fall 2011.
A site specific installation at The Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY. in the Gillette Gallery, June through Fall 2011.
Solo show at the centro cultural de la cooperacion in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
October 7th 2010: http://www.centrocultural.coop/
"From a distance, Martha Posner's sculptures are sweetly balletic: Evoking blissful action, the creamy, rustic children's gowns seem to float on their own, dancing like little girls do. But step right up, and beautiful quickly turns grotesque. Posner's 'Memory of Flight' comprises a handful of such 'shape-shifters,' made of found objects, wire, feathers, pigment, synthetic hair and beeswax. The result is a texture not unlike the flesh of picked-over roadkill, wounded and sticky. It's a visceral juxtaposition of sweet and wholly unsavory, yet for the artist, transformation is the key. 'When the shape is shifting, it enters a transient state,' says Posner in her artist statement, 'which transcends categorization as either human or beast.' Whether you choose to get close or keep your distance, you won't be able to look away."
-Carolyn Huckabay, City Paper, May 5th, 2010
"... intrigued by fairy tales and foreign cultures and tells through her work beautiful but dark stories of lost passion and love, while making an attempt to combine beauty with decay. Most of Posner's creations are photographed in desolate, stark landscapes. The transformed, recycled fabrics are still aesthetically pleasing, although not as objects of fashion. They are robust structures and independent objects in the open space. In terms of shape and memory there are still traces of human presence, but a living human being is superfluous for these items to have justification for existence..."
-Georgia Haagsma, Saatchi Online Gallery Critic Choice, June 2009
"...The drama of Posner's gesturing garments is created not only by one's immediate recognition of the disruption of what is inside the body and what is outside it- with its implications of physical or emotional tensions and violence- but also, and more importantly, it is supported by complex narrative associations that alternately move between myth and autobiography, journalism and fairytales. Buttoned shoes, billowing gowns, and corsets are made of waxed surfaces dripped with yellow and red stains and encircled with clouds of thin, unkempt hair. But these sculptures are not just anthropological observations of how social constraints and expectations can be observed in the conventions of women's and children's clothing. At their best, they activate a net of associations by turning each article of clothing with struggles, emotions, desires, and social consciousness of its own plight."
-Tom Csaszar, July/August 2007
"For several years now, Posner has been creating "unwearable garments"- dresses and cloaks fashioned from fabric strips, thorns, fence wire, wild-rose canes, raw fleece, feathers, and other detritus from her world. The garment as a metaphor for an absent human figure is not a new one; Judith Shea and Louise Bourgeois, to name only two, have explored the possibilities of clothing as sculpture. But Posner manages to bring to the theme a spooky and haunting presence, the kind of emotional rawness that characterizes the best of so-called primitive art."
-Ann Landi, Art News, October 2005