Gallery Review | ‘Girls!’ offers fun, profound look into gender
Slater Concourse Gallery displays duel−degree student artwork
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 00:10
Although the playful work featured in the Slater Concourse Gallery may suggest otherwise, the exhibit “Girls!” wants more than to just have fun. The latest installation in this walkthrough gallery space runs through Oct. 30, and it brings fresh perspective to the artwork seen on campus.
“Girls!” showcases the work of 19 students who are part of the dual−degree program between Tufts and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA). The introduction at the front of the gallery explains that the inspiration for the exhibit came from the observation that the program is mostly comprised of women and, consequently, “frequent consideration of and conversation around gender pervades [its] community.”
“Girls!” presents a wide variety of female−centric artwork, ranging from self−portraits of many of the artists to a bikini silk−screened with a strawberry pattern (“Strawbs,” by Colette Chretien).
In many ways, the gendered focus lends itself well to the exhibition, allowing for some stunning images to come forth.
Another female−driven piece is “Lady Parts,” the bright and fun monoprint by Coorain Devin (LA ’12). Here, Devin overlapped color−blocked images of women in lingerie on top of each another to create a work that manages to be humorous while questioning the objectification of the female body.
Devin also provides perhaps the most literal representation of gender issues in the gallery. The artist’s “Love Goddess Issue” is a stylized screenprint mock−up of a magazine cover for a hypothetical publication called “Girl Watcher,” which considers the impact of the male gaze.
The work in “Girls!” spans many media, including everything from mixed media collage and oil paintings to prints and sculpture.
Consequently, the art provides a detailed reflection of the varied education the artists receive at SMFA.
This is exemplified by two pieces exhibited by junior Hallie Gluk. One is “Minicosm,” a lighthearted screenprint of frolicking unicorns.
The other is an intricate but morbid portrait of a skeleton, entitled “Like Eruptions on a Rotting Corpse the Flowers Were Blooming.”
The two works display fine details that demonstrate the undeniably deft hand and attention to detail that Gluk possesses.
However, both images present starkly contrasting points of view, giving the audience a look into the artist’s mind.
The 19 artists’ works are occasionally overshadowed by the exhibit’s curation. Though the lipstick−laden wallpaper along one of the concourse walls initially draws viewers in, it ultimately becomes a distraction. Because the wallpaper’s pattern is incredibly detailed, it diverts attention away from the intricacies of the actual art.
Another questionable aspect of the presentation was the decision to include more than one piece by some but not all artists.
While this did lend complexity to some of the viewpoints being displayed, it created an imbalance between artists with multiple pieces and artists with only one.
Despite minor flaws like these, “Girls!” is a beautifully executed gallery exhibition that drips with passion and individuality.
If these artists are what we have to look forward to, then the future of art is a bright one, indeed.