Eternal Embrace

Elizabeth Jean Younce
Oct 21, 2014 2:08AM

Despite the many differences between people, we cannot deny our fundamental similarity. We have a finite period of time to experience the event of our life, both as an individual and as part of a culture. This body of work celebrates not only the cycle of life from birth to death, but also what it truly means to be human and specifically what it means to be human in contemporary society.

The chosen works describe basic human nature as a whole through bodily function, instinct, and the way we manipulate these things in our modern world. They focus on the real, the raw, and even the grotesque qualities compiling the essence of what it means to be human. These works range in date of execution, style, medium, scale, and concept. They form a chronological narrative from conception, through life, to death.

Regardless of their original intent and/or concept, these works form new implications in relation to one another. Most of the pieces relate directly to the body such as those by artists like Ed Atkins, Claudia Andujar, and Ilya Chichkan but some others such as Bruce Nauman, Dan Colen, and Robert Rauschenberg rely on abstract and non-representational forms that reference the body’s realities, frailties, and fragilities. This collection of intensely intuitive and physical works explores where we come from and what we have become. With variety of artists and viewpoints, it aims to humble and evoke a feeling of the sublime regarding the inexplicable phenomenon that is life.

Many of us become trapped within the guidelines and expectations of a stereotypically successful life. We run around, too late, too fast, too slow, too big, too small, too poor, too often feeling imperfect. Throughout this chaos it is easy to lose oneself and the majesty that is life.

Here in "Eternal Embrace" we are given a moment of introversion, a moment away from the exterior world, the machinery, the business, the noise. While we are presented the unfiltered truth that is the reality of human life, we can come to see the true beauty of our existence. Perhaps, while feeling a sense of loss and fragility at the ultimate mortality presented in these works, the viewer also leaves with a heightened sense of life from the contemplation of these sublime suggestions. 

Elizabeth Jean Younce
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019