Mandy Greer: Dare alla Luce
Bellevue Arts Museum
Bellevue WA May 6-Aug 3, 2008
Mandy Greer, Dare alla Luce [detail] (2008), installation [Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue WA, May 6-Aug 3]
In Mandy Greer's ambitious new room-size installation, Dare alla Luce, the Seattle-based artist re-invents through a canopy of thrift-store materials, an imitation of Jacopo Tintoretto's painting, The Origin of the Milky Way. The 16th Century painting depicts the infant Hercules being held to the breast of sleeping Juno by Jupiter who wishes to immortalize the infant. Greer's title, Dare alla Luce, is Italian for to give to the light and is suggestive of the process of giving birth. Juno's awakening and rejection of the child caused milk to spurt upward to form the Milky Way and downward to create lilies. Greer distills this elusive narrative into an archetypal tale that embodies the collective experience.
Featured as part of a larger selection of works from the last decade, Dare alla Luce is Greer's most detailed and largest artwork to date. In the theatrical installation, she has created a chandelier-like forest of vines, branches and leaves. Hundreds of yards of braided, beaded, knitted and stitched forms drape from the ascending height of the exhibit space. Glass blobs are crocheted into the greenery like lavish fruits. A blackbird with spread wings, perched on a black beaded branch, symbolizes the night-time sky. Milk and stars spill from the beak while the bird's tail becomes earthly flora. The diligence of Greer's process and scale is coupled with the organic intricacies and sensuality of her chosen material.
Mandy Greer is a sculptor and mixed-media installation artist with an M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Washington, where she held a Jacob K. Javitz National Graduate Fellowship. Greer received a B.F.A. in ceramics and a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia. In Washington, she has shown at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Tacoma Art Museum and the Kirkland Arts Center. In Seattle, she has exhibited at The Henry Gallery, 4Culture Gallery, Soil Gallery, Consolidated Works and Priceless Works Gallery. She has also shown at the Tampa Museum of Art, Florida.