|Patricia Piccinini and Victoria F. Gaitan open solo exhibitions at Conner Contemporary Art.|
WASHINGTON, DC.- Conner Contemporary Art presents Patricia Piccinin’s first solo exhibition in Washington, DC: “The Welcome Guest.” The selection of works ranges in date from 1997 to the present, including video and small- to large-scale sculptures (made of silicone, fiberglass, human and animal hair, taxidermied peacocks, polyester, nylon, wool, plastic and bronze). Using natural and artificial media to create realistic and grotesque forms, the world renowned Australian artist visualizes humanity’s challenges in navigating between nature and biotechnology.
The exhibition title comes from its signature piece, “The Welcome Guest” (2011), Piccinini’s most recent creation, which recalls Goethe’s statement, ‘Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.’ The artist explains that this work “reflects on the beauty and strangeness of nature.” In this compelling sculptural grouping, a fleshy mutant creature embraces a cute little girl as a graceful peacocks look on from atop their perches. Here Piccinini asks: Who will we become as technology refashions the relationship between people and the natural world? Other works in the exhibition elaborate on what kinds of emotional connections could emerge between us and the strange but vulnerable life forms our science may yet create.
conner/*gogo art projects presents Victoria F. Gaitán’s first solo exhibition with the gallery: “Scenes of Mild Peril.” The exhibition features a selection of exquisite color photographs of women by the DC-based, Australian-born artist. Gaitán scrutinizes gender stereotypes through the lens of physical beauty in flesh and blood still lifes. “Pelt No. 2” alluringly displays a woman’s face cradled by horns, surrounded by luxurious fur, and propped upon a coyote’s head. The seductive surfaces invite us to wonder what sense of self lies beneath them. Is the woman a predator or a trophy? Gaitán balances powerful tensions between social categories and self-knowledge in each of her works, which she describes as “calling cards from my explorations of internal worlds.”