The clothing and revolution created by feminist interventions let females know that our flesh was worthy of love and adoration in its natural state; nothing had to be added unless a woman chose further adornment.
Pen + Brush is pleased to present On Adornment, a group exhibition curated by Jenn Hampton. It features emerging and mid-career artists who are unpacking the concept of adornment, particularly in the context of female imaging and agency, and redefining it in contemporary ways.
The artists featured in this exhibition dissect and reframe traditional notions of the term “adornment,” which is typically defined as “something added to make a person or thing more attractive.” Their work reveals nuanced interpretations that reflect on liberation juxtaposed to, or as part of, one’s adornment of oneself.
Rose Deler captures X-rays like monoprints of various historically feminine undergarments. The inner workings of corsets, brassieres, and garters, which are typically decoratively concealed, are laid bare as a matrix of metal boning and underwire. Joanne Leah’s photographic work highlights feminine forms in bold compositions, many zoomed in, revealing decidedly ample flesh covered in gold leaf, glitter, and melting paint. The forms are free from any clothing and the skin directly embellished.
Annina Roescheisen’s series “La Pietá” is comprised of photographs and slow-motion silent video performances wrought with religious iconography, most prominently that of Christian imagery of 14th and 15th centuries. Roescheisen is positioned in “La Pietá” as the Virgin Mary, in a direct reference to the rich art history surrounding the Pieta, yet she reimagines this image by adorning herself with pop culture objects and holds in her lap a teddy bear in the place of Jesus.
Aleya Lehmann’s Hey Sister presents a series of out-of-focus photographs of femme individuals swathed in various hues of satin and silk. Their swaying and confident poses are captured in a blur that seems to celebrate the freedom of self-presentation.
Please visit the Pen + Brush website for a complete list of artists featured in On Adornment. The exhibition is on view through October 27, 2018.
Jenn Hampton is the co-founder of Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, NJ. Parlor Gallery presents a unique vision in New Jersey’s art community and features innovative work by some of the best emerging and established artists, providing a venue for both talented young artists who have never exhibited as well as internationally collected and established artists. The co-founders are dedicated to exhibiting works the public may not ordinarily have access to outside of a large urban environment within a welcoming, creative, and inspirational space. In addition to the curation for Parlor Gallery, Hampton has collaborated with Madison Marquette to curate and create the Wooden Walls Public Art Project for the Asbury Park Boardwalk.
About Pen + Brush: For the past 124 years, Pen + Brush has been dedicated to promoting the work of women in the visual and literary arts. Pen + Brush supports the belief that art and literature created by women deserve to be recognized and valued on their merits – not judged by the gender of their makers. In 2015, Pen + Brush Gallery moved from its original location in Greenwich Village and re-launched in its current, expanded location at 29 East 22nd Street.