Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ellen Wetmore (92)

-Checking for Doneness-

-Carried Away-

-Nursing with Eels-

The sculptures are all 2 feet tall, except Melt, which is 15ft long..
All executed in the last 2 years.

Ellen writes:

"The Joys of Motherhood" is a set of sculptures and images exploring the maternal body and experience in a surreal way. Pregnancy and motherhood involve a bizarre physical transformation. Reports Wetmore:
“I have experienced extreme physical deformity, profound emotional delirium, intense hunger, and fatigue. This is normal, even celebrated, but not necessarily enjoyable. I am an ambivalent mommy actor and work out some common anxieties through a variety of media.”
On view, a new series of figurative works exploring now familiar themes in Wetmore’s exploration of the fecund female body. The most ambitious of these is "Melt", a monumental reclining female figure with a dissolving midsection that formally recalls the work of British sculptor Henry Moore. Wetmore’s interpretation of this classic pose is sharpened with gross narrative and anatomical details. The model embodies the failure of female fecundity; she passively contemplates the goop into which her body has dissolved. She is covered in a slippery, self-lubricating graphite, as though dipped in crude oil, both lovely and toxic. Other sculptures include "Carried Away" in which the pregnant belly swells and lifts off from earth, stealing away its owner; "Checking for Doneness" in which an impatient, expectant mother opens her stomach early to see how it's going; and "Nursing with Eels", a reflection on the physical demands of infant nursing.