Hall of Portraits from the History of Machines

Date(s) - Saturday, May 8, 2021
12:00 am

Workhouse Arts Center


Hall of Portraits from the History of Machines

In celebration of Women’s History month, the Workhouse Arts Center is proud to present Sue Johnson’s new solo exhibition Hall of Portraits from the History of Machines which will be on display in the McGuire Woods Gallery. This timely exhibition which explores the relationship between women, consumer culture, and machines will include works that have never been seen before and will feature paintings and three-dimensional objects.

Hall of Portraits from The History of Machines proposes an alternate pictorial history rooted in the mid-20th century where Johnson explores the evolution of the modern woman. Her work exposes parallels in the cornerstone moment when women began to be idealized for machine-like efficiency and when industrial progress envisioned domestic machines, such as vacuum cleaners, sewing machines, dishwashers, and telephones to provide labor-saving solutions. Drawing on a collection of vintage advertisements and editorial fashion pages, Johnson merges commodification with objectification by melding household convenience objects with the emergent female form; in result, creating a dream-like experience that transports the viewer into a world full of hybrid women provocatively suspended in mid-transformation.

The intention of exhibition color extends into the exhibition environment where shades of mauve purple, gold, and white signal the significance of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment ratification celebrated last year.

Artist talk is scheduled for Saturday, March 27th at 7:00pm via FB live. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Lucy Burns Museum and is guest curated by Jaynelle Hazard.

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