Exhibition Preview

March 3rd Exhibition
You're Soaking in it
Opening March 3rd 2017, 6-8PM
March 3-26

Melissa Stern

Trained as an anthropologist Stern’s work draws from a wide variety of artistic traditions ranging from outsider artists, Marisol, painters such as Max Beckman and Jean Michel Basquiat, to Pan-African ethnographic objects. She applies her influences with a sly sense of humor, great energy and a brilliant command of her disparate materials.

“I work like a handyman, cobbling together drawings, objects, images and sculptures from elements found, borrowed, and imagined,” says Stern. “I use a wide range of materials from encaustic to clay, pastel to steel. My work includes found objects, souvenirs, vintage magazines and books as well as fabricated images and sculpture. The drawings and sculptures, often made in tandem, resonate with one another, the ideas in one reinforcing the themes of the other.”

Stern’s statement reflects her ongoing interest in anthropology Claude Levi Strauss coined the term “bricolage,” to define the creation of art using “whatever is at hand.” Stern finds, fabricates and creates narratives that reflect both her inner stories, a sheer delight in materiality and in the world around her. Her pieces are both funny and dark. The exhibition title, “Your Soaking in It,” is at once an homage to an iconic 1970’s dishwashing detergent commercial and a comment on the immersive culture by which we are all saturated.

Stern’s sculpture and drawing has been exhibited widely in both museums and galleries throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Her multi-media installation project, The Talking Cure, has been touring U.S. museums since 2012. The work has been featured on PBS, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, ArtNews and was a featured invited presentation of the Spoletto Festival in Charleston SC It is currently on exhibit at The Wiseman Art Museum in Minneapolis, where it will reside until April 2017. Stern’s art reviews and cultural commentary are featured regularly in Hyperallergic, the Brooklyn-based digital arts publication.

She has work in private and public collections, including. The International Center for Collage, The Library of Congress, rare book collection, The Arkansas Art Center, Stavanger Museum, Stavanger Norway, The Museum of Art and Design in NYC and News Corporation, and JP Morgan. Her work has been reviewed in ARTnews, The Wall Street Journal, The Hartford Courant, The Chicago Tribune, The Memphis Commercial Appeal and NY Arts.