Comprised of sculpture from the acclaimed collection of Girls’ Club Founders, artist Francie Bishop Good and her husband, David Horvitz, The World Is Not Flat offers a chance to see works by 20 local, national and international artists who challenge the limits of the medium.
The show was curated by Bishop Good, who worked in tandem with Sarah Michelle Rupert, Girls’ Club’s gallery director, in putting together a range of forms and materials that include ceramics, mixed media and bronze.
Girls’ Club was established nearly 15 years ago with a mission of nurturing the careers of female artists and bringing their work to a broader audience. Its extensive collection has grown hand in hand with Bishop Good’s own fertile practice as an artist, which has increasingly shifted from photography to painting and clay sculpture over the past several years. Works by female artists make up the vast majority of the collection, but male artists are also represented.
Among the exhibition’s most fragile works is also one of Bishop Good’s favorites, a brightly colored porcelain and stoneware vessel by New York-based artist Francesca DiMattio. Its title “Boucherouite VI,” references a type of centuries old woven rug made by Morocco’s Berber tribe from cast-off scraps of fabric. To create the vessel’s delicate rug-like covering, DiMattio squeezed her clay through a garlic press to mimic curly strands of yarn.
“This is something that you don’t often see in ceramics,” Rupert says, noting how the artist “is playing with texture and what the medium can and cannot do.”
One of the show’s most powerful pieces is “Pure Lard 3,” (2017) a female figure who stands atop a vintage lard tin with a baby in her arms. Created by the Pittsburgh-based artist, poet and community activist Vanessa German, the mixed media assemblage of doll parts, household objects, toy guns, cowrie shells, beads and keys, combines elements of African culture and heritage with symbols of oppression to highlight the violence and racism present in America today.
More light-hearted works include Trisha Baga’s “iMac G3” (2015), a glazed ceramic replica of the first iMac computer, Stockholm-based Joakim Ojanen’s playful “Dog with Pipe” (2017), a fanciful four-legged bronze creature that greets visitors when they open the door, and Jessica Stockholder’s plastic igloo cooler wall sconce, “With Your Salad” (2005).
“What I love about Jessica Stockholder is her collage-like use of disparate objects,” says Bishop Good, adding that “her works also make me laugh!”
“We like to think she’s sleeping,” Rupert says of South African artist Claudette Schreuder’s sculpture, “Spent,” (2017), which depicts the figure of a stocky woman with closed eyes resting on a bed. “This is a super heavy bronze piece, yet here you get a sense of the feathery, billowy consistency of the mattress and can see the indents of the woman’s form on the pillow.”
And if visitors themselves get tired, or perhaps feel the need to check their phone, they can take a moment or two to lean on Jillian Mayer’s “Slump 1,” (2016) the first of the Miami artist’s Slumpies, her playful fiberglass sculptures that are designed as places to rest while interfacing with the digital world.
Girls’ Club Warehouse
723 NE 2 Ave.
Exhibition extended through July 31, 2020.
For more information, visit girlsclubcollection.org.