MARCH 23 – JUNE 10
RECEPTION SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Sohn Fine Art
69 Church Street, Lenox, MA
Featuring works by:
HILDY PINCUS KRONEN
The Answer is Never the Answer
Artist Talk and Slideshow Presentation with Bill Wright
Saturday, April 28, 6:00 PM (Immediately following the Reception)
In collaboration with ArtWeek and Art Lenox
In conjunction with the exhibition "Domestication", Sohn Fine Art is pleased to present an artist talk and slideshow presentation with Bill Wright. Wright will discuss his work and artistic process and provide a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of his series, "The Answer is Never the Answer", which is currently on view. This body of work is influenced by master painters from the 18th and 19th century such as John Singer Sargent, Édouard Manet and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Wright explores the old work with a contemporary voice, reinventing the pieces photographically out of pure instinct, then later researching the stories and meanings behind the originals. The series is very personal to Wright, where he explores his family history and emotional ties to his mother, who struggled with drugs and alcohol and ultimately died from an overdose. Wright’s work professes an honesty we rarely see, primarily using portraits as his starting point, he evokes and unveils a narrative and truth in his subjects that transcend the light of everyday life. We see the familiar, but it is rendered extraordinary.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
A Taking Care Performance & Discussion with Artist Anne Mourier
Sunday, April 29, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
In collaboration with ArtWeek and Art Lenox
Join Sohn Fine Art and artist, Anne Mourier in an intimate discussion and art performance in conjunction with her work on display for the current exhibition "Domestication". Staged inside Sohn Fine Art gallery, the performance Taking Care II is a public invitation to participate in the process of shining silverware. Though humble in scale, these intimate gestures comprise a connective experience that reinforces a common human bond. This is a return to a shared place. Could a society begin to heal through the basic acts of Taking Care of things and of one another? Anne Mourier is a French-born and Brooklyn-based conceptual artist. She also maintains a studio in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. Mourier’s work explores the search for identity through an ongoing analysis of societal conceptions of femininity and constructs of the home. She believes that there is healing in the simplistic pleasures of domestic life.
to convert (living things) to domestic uses; process of taming.
to accustom to household life or affairs.
to make more ordinary, familiar, acceptable, or the like: to domesticate radical ideas.
Domestication prods at the undercurrents of human relationships. Through photography, mixed media and sculpture, the artists explore issues of family, gender, societal roles and domestic responsibilities. The work helps us consider how we identify as individuals, family and community in this modern society and political climate. It pinpoints comforts and discomforts in domestic duties and relationships, exemplifying what can happen with neglect. Are we trained to fit into domestic roles? Or are we domesticated, tamed or confined by social definitions? Elements of decay in the work remind us of our own mortality, both physically and in our ideals. Within all of these areas, beauty and decay go hand in hand.
Drawing from a childhood of invisible mothers and family secrets, Anne Mourier’s works of delicate and quiet handmades, readymades, and personal keepsakes are vessels for the introverted voice of her reflections on youthful naïveté. Their pristine pastel and white palettes invoke a dialogue that questions the cleanliness of the family construct, the gratification of the domestic domain, and the power of denial. Mourier asks if society is holding on to the past or if we should burn it and begin anew. She believes there is healing in the simple pleasures of domestic life, in the act of taking care of things and one another.
Bill Wright creates work with significant influences from master painters from the 18th and 19th century such as John Singer Sargent, Edouard Manet, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Wright explores the old work with a contemporary voice, reinventing the pieces photographically out of pure instinct and personal, emotional reaction. After the work is produced he researches the stories and meanings behind the originals. The series is very personal to Wright, where he explores his family history and emotional ties to his mother, who struggled with drugs and alcohol and ultimately died from an overdose. Wright’s work evokes and unveils a narrative and truth in his subjects that transcend the light of everyday life. We see the familiar, but it is rendered extraordinary.
In her younger years, Hildy Pincus Kronen engaged in the rebellion against inequality that is still every woman's battle. Dressing her brother in women's clothes and then photographing him, she discovered early on that that she was fascinated with gender identity. She continued along these lines, dressing and undressing her subjects, including her own figure. Bodies, used as a form of expression, were often headless or faceless. Hand colored, structured compositions compliment the figures they contain, creating a ground in which unsettling, emotionally jarring or even violent ideas can be expressed. With her newest work as a perfect exemplar of a simple and powerful combination of all her concerns, she photographed her son's gender transition process from a female for the past year and a half.
Roberta Trentin creates images of family and encloses them in petri-dishes. The artist allows mold to grow in the petri-dishes, changing the images, revealing what happens if you don’t take care - a family needs care and attention to grow healthily and happily. The foundation of Trentin’s work is built upon her fascination with microorganisms and has found a domestic reality in her personal life. When a family is created, a new entity is born, and different layers are built one above the other. These layers consist of the emotions, hopes, needs and efforts that circulate around the new entity. As a living organism, the new environment needs warmth, nurturing and energy to grow, as well as values to share with the new generations to come.
George Cavalletto has photographed his family over the past 70 years. His photos consist of mothers and infants (where the family begins), children and caregivers, teenagers, adults in their various stages, and elders (principally, himself). The pictures are portraits of them as separate individuals, although these portraits most often suggest a shared visual membership in a larger family-based world. This includes behavioral patterns and practices, social codes, and rituals that comprise the usually visually unnoticed, and hence effectively invisible, form and fabric of everyday social action and interaction.
Susan Copich is an award-winning photographer who thrives on the subject matter of “domestication.” She is her own muse, using staged self-portraits to explore decay, mortality, vulnerability, fear and womanhood that is shrouded in current American, political tumult and the collective awakening of female power and equality. Her work-in-progress then he forgot my name began as a project about her father and has evolved into a commentary on what it means to be a woman, with a look back at our history and tying it to the conversations of today and the #metoo movement. The title, then he forgot my name, now takes on a new meaning—and the denial echoing from some of the perpetrators rings harshly and loudly: “I don’t even remember her.” Evident, also is the thread of red, white and blue in her imagery as well as decay, both of country and of domestic life.