The Willow Street Gallery is pleased to present Uncommon Goods, an art exhibition featuring works created with everyday objects – tools embedded with personal meaning that fit their creative vision.” The show will run from January 31 – March 1, 2020. An artist talk will take place at 1:30 pm on March 1, 2020. All events are free to the public.
The artists featured, Damon Arhos, Sarah Irvin, Nicole Salimbene, and Olivia Tripp Marrow, transform household objects into complex and beautiful works of art. By changing the use or physical attributes of these everyday, ready-made objects, the artists in Uncommon Goods invite us to interpret new ways of looking at the commonplace. These works challenge the viewer to consider the range and depth capable of the humble, utilitarian objects that surround us.
Damon Arhos created his Iron Paintings by dripping paint over irons onto wood. Through this act, Arhos revisits the iron’s place as a household appliance into a tool akin to an artist’s brush or palette knife. He also subverts the iron’s traditional gender coding and association with women’s work. The artist invites the viewers to ask, can an object transcend from appliance to a means of conceptual self-expression?
Sarah Irvin repurposes the objects in her own home to make cyanotypes with repeating patterns and shapes found in her children’s toys, such as her daughter’s doll house and teacups. Irvin’s focus on household objects serves as an exploration of social dynamics, especially in her role as an artist, mother, and wife. Irvin sees the power of this project in its ability to go beyond the home “in shaping greater social relations, through acknowledgement of the malleable nature of a developing individual. The potential for massive societal shifts is therefore capable through small and even imagined personal spaces.”
Nicole Salimbene is “particularly drawn to the elegance and monumentality found in the ordinary and ephemeral.” She uses the pages of Artforum to investigate the relationship between consumerism, decorative arts, and the contemporary art market. Salimbene separates each magazine page by color to “weave” them into monochromatic tapestries, turning pages containing art criticism and glossy advertisements into decorative objects. By doing so, the artist adapts the power dynamics of the traditionally male-dominated art market into a traditionally feminine craft. Salimbene says she her work is “ at the intersection of poetics, psychology, environmentalism and contemplative practice, my art aims to provoke self-inquiry and dialogue regarding social issues.”
For Olivia Tripp Marrow’s Gradient series, she creates ephemeral sculptures from women’s undergarments by arranging them in a gradient of skin-like hues. Tripp Marrow’s ability to construct abstract sculptures while still maintaining the form-fitting integrity of undergarments (to stretch, to conform, to contain) provides a nod to the beauty, strength, and multiplicity of women’s bodies and experiences. Tripp Marrow’s use of intimates also invites the viewer to reconsider the public and private aspects of women’s bodies, while her careful construction of skin color gradients alludes to the subjective concept of beauty and our pursuit of it.Learn More