The Lightness of Bearing is a selection of works by Virginia Maksymowicz that consider the symbolic resilience and strength of the female figure in art and architecture. Pulling from antiquity, Maksymowicz blends the mythology of caryatids, architectural columns of women effortlessly bearing the weight of massive architectural structures, with contemporary imagery of women from indigenous and ethnic cultures bearing the weight of ritualistic traditions. Additional works reinforce this conceptual framework with figurative representations and coded sculptural elements.
The exhibition includes two new works created as a nod to the University's Centennial that represent the historical spaces that the university occupies. One work honors the Lenni-Lenape who were the original inhabitants of the land and who are still living here today. The other is an installation inspired by the Hollybush mansion and Josephine Allen Whitney. Likened to a 19th-century version of the caryatid, Josephine bore the weight of raising seven children but is largely absent from the historical record. As a metaphor for sorting out fragmented memories of the past, Maksymowicz creates a Hollybush-inspired room as a chaotic jumble of architectural elements and plaster casts made from the actual crown moldings found there.
Opening reception and artist talk - Thursday, September 14, 5:00-7:00 PM. (Artist’s Talk begins at 5:30, RSVP)