Lateral Expansion: Susan Arena, Jeane Cohen, MaryKate Maher, Natalia Nakazawa and Sarah G. Sharp


Curated by Audra Lambert 


Opening Saturday, February 25 from 4-8 PM

Lateral Expansion brings together five artists whose work speculates on the multiplicity of identities that women inhabit through multidisciplinary approaches, sublime explorations of representation and gesture and visceral approaches to surface texture. From painting to fiber art and sculptural collages, these artists embrace the ideologies of lateral expansion: taking up space and claiming power through a lateral expansion both metaphorically and literally in artworks on view.


Works by Susan Arena offer powerful explorations of women in myth and folklore. Her bold and expressive works on paper offer representational meditations on aspects of permanence and impermanence, speculating on the enduring presence that women archetypes have held over time throughout global cultures. Artist Natalia Nakazawa explores materiality in her multidisciplinary practice. Nakazawa accumulates archival imagery by entering poetic search terms into the museum’s database, collapsing layered representations of the collection into textiles in order to reconsider the museum’s alienating structures and question national identities. In her wood panel paintings, she uses Jacquard woven ribbons that have been arranged as orthographic architectural forms to present multiple perspectives.


Paintings by Jeane Cohen offer visuals embracing natural and mythic elements, translated through compelling hues and tones and interspersed with visual texture across the picture plane. Cohen’s vibrant and quixotic compositions offer alternative visions into the worlds we create and how our identities can serve as complex lenses through which to consider our lived experiences. MaryKate Maher’s swirling organic shapes and interlocking forms exude warmth and generative space throughout the suite of paper collages on view. Abstract yet evocative, works from Maher’s Surface series offer a means of contemplating and exploring three dimensional space in surprising yet harmonious formal juxtapositions. Artist Sarah G. Sharp’s work from her Legacies series contemplates the enduring role of classic video games, questioning the formal interrelationships between early pixelated video games and the traditional medium of weaving in these textile artworks. By combining these disparate mediums, the point is necessarily raised as to what constitutes women’s work in contemporary visual and material culture.


Works in textile art, paintings, works on paper and multidisciplinary formats exhibited in Lateral Expansion offer new expansive formats through which to consider the role that women command in contemporary art.  The visitor is invited to contemplate the means by which women artists author their own narratives, re-examine loaded histories, exert physical presence and reinforce the vibrant yet disparate tales embedded in the contemporary practices of woman-identified artists.

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