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all gilded landscapes and glistening shows fade, Magdolene Dykstra
all gilded landscapes and glistening shows fade
Online Artist Talk | Friday, October 22, 2021 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Watch the Recording
Exhibition on view October 8 through November 5, 2021
The Jane Hartsook Gallery is pleased to present new work by Magdolene Dykstra. In the artist’s first solo show in New York City, Dykstra combines raw clay sculpture with works on paper to invoke the sublime and to encourage us to remember the fragility of the natural world of which we are a part. Evocative of the Romantic artists of the nineteenth century who used large-scale landscape paintings to remind viewers of their insignificance when faced with the grandeur of nature, Dykstra uses the microscopic to do the same while also critiquing mass consumerism, and considering the role of the individual within the group.
The visual and emotional center of the exhibition is a bulging accumulation of cells composed of raw clay. Each cell is an individual, but a dependent part of the whole, a mass that seems on the brink of failure as it overwhelms its wooden frame. Not unlike humanity, whose desires are quickly exhausting the earth’s natural resources, the unfired clay is in a precarious position, its fragility exposed, and in very real danger.
Where Dykstra uses the building block of life—the cell—to compose her sculptural work, she uses the unique signature of the individual—the fingerprint—in her two-dimensional work. Inspired equally by the Color Field school of painting and cave paintings across the globe, Dykstra uses the repetition of her own finger print to compose the paintings in this exhibition. Built up over months, or even years, these compositions declare over and over again Dykstra’s presence in this world and particularly her presence as an Egyptian-Canadian in a country whose immigration policies favored people of European descent into the 1960s.
Magdolene Dykstra is an Ontario-based artist who combines her background in biology and visual arts to create sculptures, installations, and drawings that consider the human condition. Dykstra earned her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and MS in education at Niagara University. She has shown her work internationally, including at the Gardiner Museum (Ontario, Canada; 2020), Niagara Artists Center (Ontario, Canada; 2019), Western Colorado Center for the Arts (Grand Junction, CO; 2018) and Page Bond Gallery (Richmond, VA; 2017). She has held residencies at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (2019) and the Medalta Historic Clay District (2015). Dykstra gratefully acknowledges support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Download the press release here.
Images: © Alan Wiener, courtesy Greenwich House Pottery 2021.