Here is the press release for Fauns and Shackles, the show Jody, Cathy and I are working on.
For Immediate Release: Exhibition at PS122
Fauns and Shackles: Homage to Harriet Hosmer (1830 – 1908)
March 18 - April 16 2006
Opening Saturday March 18 5 – 7
Panel discussion Sunday April 9 4PM with Jody Culkin, Kate Culkin and Kathleen Goncharov
Contact Susan Schreiber for information 212.228.4249 email@example.com
Fauns and Shackles: Homage to Harriet Hosmer is a collaborative exhibition featuring art works by Jody Culkin, a relative of the 19th century neo-classical sculptor Harriet Hosmer, the protofeminist who lived and worked in Rome and was part of the group of women artists that Henry James, disturbed by their independence, disparagingly termed the White Marmorean Flock.
Touted by collectors, Harriet Hosmer joined the 19th century American expatriate community in Rome, where she counted the poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, and the author Nathaniel Hawthorne among her friends and supporters. An unknown when she went abroad in 1852, within six years she had achieved international fame. In her thirty years in Italy she became one of the most renowned sculptors of her time.
To 21st century eyes, Hosmer offers a fascinating example of a woman who refused to accept the constraints placed on her by society. Inspired by and inspiring the dynamic women’s rights movement of the 19th century, Hosmer’s works and life often critiqued the social status of women of the time. Hosmer also considered herself a scientist and worked on a perpetual motion machine for three decades. She was an ambitious, talented and independent woman at time when those qualities were considered unsuitable for a “lady.”
In mounting this exhibition, two of Hosmer’s relatives, Jody Culkin, sculptor and multimedia artist, and Kate Culkin, a historian writing a book on Hosmer, have joined forces with curator Kathleen Goncharov to create an exhibition and installation that responds to Hosmer’s work and life from the perspective of the 21st century.
The exhibition consists of original works by Jody Culkin and photographic reproductions of sculptures by Hosmer, as well as contextual materials. Despite their different media and eras, many common conceptual threads connect the work of Hosmer and Culkin. Both question assumptions about gender, often through the use of male nudes and depictions of female endangerment and wrath, and each explores the dual nature of chains, with both adorn and entrap, signifying both social status and powerlessness. Both artists refuse to accept the division between art and technology, examining the ways these supposedly isolated disciplines inform each other. Culkin’s work encompasses traditional sculptural issues as well as the role of technology in ways that make it clear the connection between the two woman goes beyond a shared family tree.
Kate Culkin received her Ph.D. in American History from New York University, where she wrote her dissertation on Hosmer. Her biography of Hosmer, entitled “’The Impossible Comes Naturally to Her:’ Harriet Hosmer in Nineteenth-Century American Culture,” is under contract with University of Massachusetts Press.
Kathleen Goncharov studied neo-classical art in graduate school and has been fascinated with the art and politics of 19th century Rome ever since.
Hours: Thursday through Sunday 12 to 6PM
PS122 Gallery The Classroom 150 First Avenue New York, NY 10009 212.228.4249