GreenTARA Space • North Hero, VT • • Through July 17, 2017

By: Cynthia Close

Lilian Floral hi res
Barbara Zucker, Lilian (Floral)/Pussy Willow Steel Sculpture, 2001, 51 x 32 x 1½”. Courtesy of the artist.

A selection from Time Signatures, a series of sculptures by the well-known feminist artist Barbara Zucker, is only the second exhibition to adorn GreenTARA Space, a stunning new and most welcomed gallery in North Hero, VT. Zucker was a co-founder of A.I.R. Gallery, the first women’s cooperative gallery in the United States, opening in 1972, at 97 Wooster Street in New York City and still thriving today at its current location in Brooklyn.

Driven in part by “a rage about aging” and the inequities in the way men’s wrinkles are seen as adding character to their faces while women are encouraged to erase all signs of age from theirs, Zucker has chosen to celebrate those most dreaded creases by immortalizing them in steel, as well as a variety of other materials including vulcanized rubber and glass. At first glance, these free flowing yet intricately interconnected lines appear to be some sort of topographical map, representing the way rivers carve paths across the land, or the way blood flows from arteries to veins providing life to a living organism. The original source material, photographs of women of a “certain age,” rather than being obscured, have been transformed into something quite enigmatic, yet arresting.

Zucker began the series with a photograph of her own neck and eye wrinkles. Then she enlarged and projected the photograph beginning the process of transformation from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional form. She considered the results self-portraits and soon after went on to create works that pay tribute to outstanding women of history such as Rosa Parks, Georgia O’Keeffe and Louise Bourgeois. Some of the pieces are large and freestanding. Others, like the ones included in this exhibition, are reliefs positioned in front of, not against, the wall enlisting the important element of shadow. Zucker considers shadows to be her friend adding to rather than detracting from the perception of the work. It seems fitting that these pieces occupy the apse in this former Catholic church, now serving as a place to pay homage to the gods of art rather then religion.

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