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For more than 50 years\, the work of Betty Woodman has pivot ed around the subject of the vase like an axis. She once again returns to t he use and representation of vessels in her hybrid painting-sculpture ceram ic pieces. 

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With the splashy bright color and curvaceous line she i s known for\, Woodman presents a theatrical vision of home\, courtyard and garden. Her installation at Salon 94 Freemans divides the gallery into idea s about “inside” and “outside”. One side of a wall contains vases\, figures \, shells and bouquets\, where the flowers too are rendered in glazed ceram ic. A small\, flat silhouette in the shape of a vessel is painted on one si de with a nude female Venus figure\, and on the other side with abstract pa tterns in washy colors—a careful method with a quick look inherited from Mo dern painting masters. This is the home’s interior\, defined here as a plac e for the presentation and display of objects and vessels.

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Woodman stages the other side of the space like a walled garden or interior courtya rd with paintings on canvas and ceramic hung on the walls framed as “window s.” Paintings with ceramic lie flat on the floor like “carpets.” The domest ic objects are made both lively and strange. Clay segments are taken from t he left-over bits and scraps of vases\, shells\, and other shapes that requ ire cut-outs in the studio. The recycled remnants are used like “ready-made s”\, existing pieces found in the studio and collaged into new pieces with a raucous surface orchestration that recall the paper cut-outs of Matisse. The canvas grounds of the floor works\, referencing mid-century expressioni stic monochromes\, are brushy\, wet and bright\, as the surfaces are loaded with gestures rather than figures. Recycling her own materials and laying them out as both surface decoration and structural armature\, Woodman under scores her trademark vision of domestic objects that marry three-dimensiona l components to flat surfaces. Her wall pieces perform a similar union of p ainting and sculpture—the central element of the painted canvas is a plinth that juts out from the belly of the composition to support two unglazed va ses\, comically crude and overscaled\, as if to present an ultimate form. < /p>\n

A large site-specific mural done in the artist’s freewheeling drawi ng style fills the back wall. Flat yet textured ceramic fragments represent columns topped with vases and vines\, where vaulting arabesques and clashi ng patterns perform like lively human surrogates. The horizontal compositio n fills the width of the gallery and functions like a horizon line\, or a v iew out onto the garden\, as if from a window or terrace. Moments of bare c eramic and fractured line point to the sophisticated use of absence within the composition. Woodman’s pieces activate the space like a stage\, stretch ing out beyond the picture plane and spilling onto the floor\, charging eve ry surface and negative space with the audacity and exuberance of her eccen tric forms.

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In another buoyant gesture\, Woodman presents a new “wa llpaper” work\, a composition assembled from over 90 small ceramic cutaway pieces that are the recycled fragments removed from larger forms like the w ings of vases and the periphery of the mural. The artist sometimes refers t o these leftovers as “bones” as if they provide an essential structural fra mework to a body where non-ceramic wall space is a connected surface or fle sh. Glazed\, arranged and displayed\, these fragments are then offered to t he public for the taking. The individual elements will be given away on a first-come\, first-serve basis to any viewers who would like to have them . The gesture reiterates the act of recycling\, and also reflects a dee per archeological history of ceramics\, where individual pieces—most often vases and vessels—are taken by their finders\, individual parts divided amo ngst separate museums around the world. The performance of dispersal and th e act of gifting is an enthusiastic staging of something like a ritual that engages what will eventually be a blank wall in the gallery\, situated in between interior and the outside world.

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This is Woodman’s third sol o exhibition at Salon 94. A catalogue on the occasion of the exhibition wil l be published in June 2013\, and will include a conversation between the a rtist and art critic Barry Schwabsky. Woodman's work was the subject of a m ajor one-person retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006. It is in the collections of over 50 museums worldwide. Her solo presentations include the Stedelijk Museum\, Amsterdam\; the Gulbenkian Museum\, Lisbon\ ; the Gardiner Museum\, Toronto\; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art\, Hartfo rd\, Connecticut\; and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs\, Paris among many oth ers. Woodman has been the recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design\, the Nova Scotia College of Art and the Univ ersity of Colorado.

DTEND:20130614 DTSTAMP:20140726T051820 DTSTART:20130507 GEO:40.721956;-73.99246 LOCATION:Salon 94 Freemans\,1 Freeman Alley \nNew York\, NY 10002 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Windows\, Carpets and Other Paintings \, Betty Woodman UID:274471 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR