My process has always been about seeing and feeling with the body, not so much about analysis. I think of my pieces as bodies, the depiction of living organisms with very little narrative. The reductive pieces rest with soft breath while the more complex pieces evolve with growth, light and movement, all emanating from the core. The only way I know how to do this is to engage my whole body in the work.
~Mia Westerlund Roosen
Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new sculptures and drawings by Mia Westerlund Roosen. This will be the artist’s fourth exhibition with the Gallery, located at 15 Rivington Street, New York, NY. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Saturday, February 25 from 4 -7 PM.
Emerging as a sculptor in the late 1960’s when Minimalism was the dominant, artistic movement, Westerlund Roosen chose the organic over the industrial, geometric aesthetic and held on tightly to her commitment to the handmade object. She attributes her instinct towards the language of the body, its movement and weight, to her experience of early motherhood - both childbirth itself and all the ‘gooey stuff’ that goes with child rearing.
Over the past few years Westerlund Roosen has felt the need to reexamine the serenity of the reductive work created in the 70s- both her own work as well as the work of other artists. The current exhibition features six sculptures, two of which look to her more serene side: Bedding Down and Spanning Time, which “rest with soft breath” while another, Architectural Folly is more complex and awake. In this work, heavy slabs hang on horizontal pipes causing the walls to have a lively swaying motion. Finally, and not surprisingly, the figure itself comes into Westurlund Roosen’s work with Bust I and Bust II; here the interest in figure and in materials collide. Also included in the exhibition are several works on paper. These drawings again reexamine of the work in the 1970s. At first appearing Minimal, they again engage the artist’s body kinetics as the rhythm and the pressure of the pencil is done in an automatic movement down the surface of the paper.
Mia Westerlund Roosen has received several prestigious awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and a Fulbright Fellowship. Her work can be seen in numerous public collections, most notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; and the Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY. She divides her time between New York City and Buskirk, NY.
An illustrated catalogue accompanies this exhibition.