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Marion Wilson: Remnants of Luxury in Forbidden Play > Additional Information
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Cheryl Pelavin Fine Art

Marion Wilson
- Additional Information -

Cheryl Pelavin Fine Arts is pleased to present artist, Marion Wilson, in her first solo show in New York City.  The show consists of bronze sculptures of baby dolls, tiny guns, monotypes created in our shop and small resin purses filled with items of emotional intensity for the artist.  The theme of Wilson’s work is the landscape of childhood play and identity. Although there is much serious content here, there is also a playful, and funny quality to this installation.  The subject of childhood is not a new one for Wilson.  The artist uses a doll (an anatomically correct newborn used in medical training) that is obviously male and dresses him up in various trims made of lace, beads, chenille etc. The artist says about this issue: 

"Remnants of Luxury in Forbidden Play" blurs the conventions of play, gender and culture. The life size dolls are dressed in ornate imaginary costumes that reference a hybrid of traditional Eastern and Western bronze statuary and pop culture.  They seem "confused" as to their gender in a traditional sense."

Wilson purposefully casts the sculptures and "domestic" fabrics in the more "heroic" sculptural material of bronze.  The bronze medium helps the artist to find her own place in the lineage of sculpture.* Her subjects, with their combination of humor, contemporary pop (multi)-culture, fantasy, real world play and politics offer a critique on the heroic bronze itself.  The works were cast with the expert attentions of the Polich Foundry in Rock Tavern, New York.  They are patinaed with the artist’s close supervision to create the very beautiful and unique layers of delicate off white tones.  They achieve a proximity to the decorative fabrics and beads originally used. In an essay written for this show, curator and writer Donna Harkavy writes:

"Marion Wilson's art traverses the charged, multivalent terrain of childhood and identity. With the eye of a knowing observer, she captures a darkly innocent side of growing up.  Her diminutive figures and toy guns inhabit the periphery of such taboo territory as cross-dressing and violence.  Of course, within the realm of childhood, aggressive play is playing war and wearing clothes of the opposite sex is simply dressing up. But viewed through an adult perspective, these "innocent" games are tinged by the forbidden."

Ms. Wilson is concurrently showing "Distilled Lives," a new conceptual project, at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. Thomas Piché Jr., Senior Curator at the EMA describes this work as: "...subtle yet layered exploration of issues surrounding the death penalty."

Wilson's work is currently included in "The Culture of Violence," curated by Donna Harkavy and Helaine Posner; traveling to the UMASS Fine Arts Center at Amherst, the Bowdoin Museum of Art and The Harn Museum.  Catalogue available through University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Ms. Wilson has been awarded several residencies and grants including: The Millay Colony as the endowed Nancy Graves fellow, Sculpture Space with a grant from NYCA , the International Studio Program in conjunction with Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and the Elizabeth Foundation, and the Gunk Foundation.  She also completed a public project with Sculpture Center, NYC.

*Donna Harkavy




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