Lovelorn & Cracked Pot
Amanda Church and Doreen McCarthy
Advice to the Lovelorn
October 26 – November 30, 2022
Artist’s Talk: Wed. October 26, 5-6pm
Reception: Wed. October 26. 4, 6-8pm
Photo Credits: Left: Amanda Church, Right: Doreen McCarthy
The Mueller Gallery at Caldwell University is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition: Amanda Church and Doreen McCarthy: Advice to the Lovelorn. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
The suggestive nature of the work in this exhibition inspired the choice for the title of this exhibition which is taken from the 1933 American pre-code film of the same name. Advice to the Lovelorn also served as the inspiration for a satirical advice column that appeared in Spy Magazine in the 1990’s by the controversial American feminist academic and social critic Camille Paglia.
The work in this exhibition by Church and McCarthy is non-objective but hints at the erotic. Both artists utilize aspects of pop art to grab the attention of the viewer helping to make the images both enticing and playful.
Amanda Church creates paintings that hint at sexual situations without being overtly representational. Church paints distorted silhouettes, bodies without heads, with deformed limbs and ambiguous genitalia, either on their own or in pairs. According to Church, these figures “are not meant to horrify; on the contrary, they are alluring in their strange eroticism”. Formal considerations are also at the forefront of Church’s work. Compositions are carefully constructed and lines and the edges of the canvas are used to frame the figures, cropping them in such a way that the viewer senses only part of the scene is made visible, implicating the viewer as a voyeur catching a glimpse of what might be illicit while at the same time remaining ambiguous. The act of just seeing one of Church’s paintings makes one feel slightly naughty.
While references to sex may be disguised in Church’s work, Doreen McCarthy creates sculptures that are even more subtly suggestive. The formal elements with which McCarthy deals are what implies that which is sexually erotic: shapes, colors and material bring to mind bodies or their parts as well as sex toys. Design principles such as repetition and rhythm, asymmetrical balance and scale also are used to create associations with the human form, sometimes as a single figure moving in and articulating space and at other times resembling two or more figures entwined.
References to pop art in both Church’s and McCarthy’s work are obvious but the work goes beyond pop art and is formally and technically rigorous. The use of line, bright color and rounded shapes with smooth curves create works that are sexually provocative, playful, humorous and highly impactful.
Amanda Church has been showing throughout the U.S. and Europe for over 20 years, with solo exhibitions in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Louisville, San Juan, Prague, and Marseilles. Recent exhibitions include Recliners at High Noon, New York; CKR at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York; Heads and Tales at Espacio 20/20 in Puerto Rico; and Minimal Baroque in Copenhagen, for which she received a grant from the Danish Council on the Arts. She is also a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work is in many private and public collections including Deutsche Bank; The Chambers Hotel, New York; the Progressive Corporation, Cleveland; and the New Jersey State Museum, Trenton. Church lives and works in New York City.
Doreen McCarthy is a sculptor based in New York City. Since 1985 McCarthy’s work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe, China and Japan. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions in Cologne, Bonn, Berlin and Sylt, Germany, Shanghai, China, Miami, Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan and several in New York City. In 2021 a survey exhibition of her work Polysemy opened at Indiana University. McCarthy’s work has been in group and two-person exhibitions throughout the United States, Germany, England, Italy and Japan. She has participated in residencies in Berlin & Cologne, Germany, Santa Fe Art Institute, and Edward Albee’s “The Barn”.
McCarthy has received grants from The West Collection, Foundation for Contemporary Art, and The Joan Mitchell Foundation which supported her residency at Santa Fe Art institute. She has been invited to participate in Equidistances project | Residenze Artistiche, a residency originated by Magazzeno Art Gallery in Ravenna, Italy (COVID permitting).
McCarthy’s exhibitions have been reviewed extensively including in publications such as Sculpture Magazine, The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Flashart, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Sylter Spiegel, NY Arts Magazine, Koelner Stadt Anzeiger. Her work will be included in a three-person exhibition at Caldwell University in New Jersey and part two of “Bad Art” (which debuted in London in 2021) in Glasgow, Scotland in 2023.
October 26 – November 30, 2022
Artist’s Talk: Wed. Oct. 26, 5-6pm
Reception: Wed. Oct. 26, 6-8pm
Photo Credits: James Waller
The Mueller Gallery at Caldwell University is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition: James Waller: Cracked Pot. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
The exhibition Cracked Pot provides an insightful look into the imaginative artwork of James Waller. Color is an obvious area of great interest to Waller and he uses it to elicit a strong emotional response from the viewer. Spiritual realization and self- exploration are explored through imagery related to Christian iconography, Greek mythology, popular culture and ancient and modern textiles.
The influence of abstraction is explored within the context of recognizable imagery. Spirals, paisleys, and even animals are repeated to form a sense of cohesiveness within the unknown. Unwilling to assign definite meanings to these symbols, Waller invites viewers to engage with his work on its own terms.
In his own words he attests, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” Opting not to focus on the final result, he allows the work to conceptualize itself without a definitive process. In spite of this, Waller’s work shows an obvious adeptness at drawing and a flexibility with materials. Waller’s highly developed technical skills are what allow him to improvise with a medium as unforgiving as colored marker and create an impressive and dizzying array of marks, patterns and shapes both abstract and representational. Guided by his expertise in drawing, color and by his own intuition, Waller creates visual worlds that are sometimes disquieting, often humorous and always engaging.
James Waller is (a) 69 years old and (b) an emerging artist.
Although he took lots of studio art classes in college, after
graduating he stopped making art almost entirely and didn’t
restart until 2005, when he was 52. In the 30 years between, he earned an M.A. in philosophy of religion from Columbia University; taught courses in philosophy, religion, and writing at a number of New York City colleges; and had a haphazard career as a freelance writer and editor.
He has written several books, including the four-volume “Drinkology” series (2003–2010) on cocktails, wine, and beer. Another boozy book, “Cocktails, A Still Life,” illustrated by painter Todd Casey and co-written with Christine Sismondo, was released in August.
When he decided to try making art again, James took a number of courses at Parsons and dabbled in various media. His work has appeared in group shows in New Jersey and New York, but the Mueller Gallery exhibit “Cracked Pot” is his first solo show. Lately, he has focused on drawing, using a mixture of markers, brush & ink, gouache, and colored pencils. His drawings are mostly highly colored and straddle the border between figuration and abstraction. Although the work borrows from numerous sources, James believes that after 17 years of art-making, he has finally begun to find his own visual language. A widower, James now lives in Baltimore with his pretty but unpleasant cat.