Call & Response
Lauren Carly Shaw
Sunroom Project Space | July 13–August 24, 2014
Riven, 2014, plaster, spackle, fixative, cardboard, masking tape, acrylic matte medium, newsprint, wood, latex paint, latex handmade cotton paper, stenciled pattern, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Wave Hill
Lauren Carly Shaw is interested in multiple aspects of the human figure, including its objectification, the will of the individual and the manifestation of emotion through form. In particular, her sculptures portray the female body through a feminist lens. Shaw reshapes and re-contextualizes the body to create imaginative, alternate realities, referring to spatial, environmental and fantastical situations that affect perceptions of human nature. Shaw investigates the physical and psychological consequences of lingering notions about female propriety and appearance. Her work challenges these established views that have pervaded contemporary society.
For her Sunroom Project, Riven, Shaw creates a site-specific installation based on the short story “The Yellow Wall-paper” (1892) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Set in the late 19th century, at the time when Wave Hill’s Glyndor House was originally built, the story chronicles the effect of solitary confinement on a woman’s mental health. After being restricted to a small room by her physician-husband, the woman falls into madness and becomes convinced that there are women creeping behind the patterns in the wallpaper, until she eventually believes that she is one of them. Shaw transforms the gallery into the story’s setting, including two-dimensional elements and an animated component, as well as sculptures of the protagonist and the figures she imagines emerging from the stenciled paper adorning the walls. Riven invites viewers to step into this immersive environment and experience the woman’s confused state, blurring the line between corporeal presence and interior psyche.
Riven, 2014, plaster, spackle, fixative, cardboard, masking tape, acrylic matte medium, newsprint, wood, latex paint, latex handmade cotton paper, stenciled pattern, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Lauren Carly Shaw
The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.