This exhibition assembles paintings, drawings, sculpture, and installation by artists who mine artistic precedents for source material, style, or technique. A common practice throughout the history of art, these methods of visual quotation allow viewers a point of recognition and artists a means of critique. Carrie Ann Baade’s autobiographical parables combine fragments of Renaissance and Baroque religious paintings, resulting in surreal landscapes inhabited by exotic flora, fauna, and figures. Addressing 21st century consumerism and production, Laurie Hogin’s monkey portraits infuse 17th-century Dutch still life with pointed social commentary. Julie Heffernan’s large-scale self-portrait landscape paintings quote a variety of 17th and 18th century old masters—Northern Renaissance and Spanish Baroque, among others—with an underlying consciousness of notions of femininity. In her whiteware vases and lush paintings, Jane Irish combines references to conceptual artists working in the mid-20th century—such as Marcel Broodthaers and Joseph Beuys—with elements of French Rococo painting, architecture, and porcelain production. Works by artists such as Annette Davidek, Sara Sosnowy, and Susan Chrysler White draw influence from plant illustration and William Morris wallpaper designs, while recalling the female-dominated Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s. René Treviño layers Victorian wallpaper designs with figures and animals associated with masculinity as an exploration of the artist’s self-identity (as a gay Latino male). Whether exploring the human condition, notions of beauty, or personality in popular culture, the artists included work both within and outside of the art historical “canon.”
Margaret Winslow holds an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art, Theory and Criticism from SUNY Purchase College and a BA from Mary Washington College. She has curated for the Neuberger Museum of Art, New Wilmington Art Association, and assisted with exhibits for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Winslow currently lives in Wilmington, DE, and is the Assistant Curator at the Delaware Art Museum.