Vivian Beer: Infrastructure
October 7, 2011 through November 26, 2011
PHILADELPHIA- Wexler Gallery is excited to present an exhibition of new work by innovative furniture designer Vivian Beer. Show runs October 7th through November 26th, 2011. In correlation with DesignPhiladelphia 2011, an Opening Reception & Artist Talk will take place on Saturday, October 22nd from 5 – 8pm.
An artist who sees her process as “sophisticated daydreaming,” Vivian Beer creates functional objects that exist between the worlds of design, craft, and sculpture. Working with cement, steel, and often automotive paint, the artist is influenced by objects, images, and ideas that celebrate beauty and power. Using new methods and materials, as well as traditional techniques, Beer’s forms are often curvy, voluptuous, and anthropomorphic in nature.
According to the artist, much of her inspiration comes from objects that are symbolic in contemporary American culture. Not just for their iconographic meanings, but also for the type of experiences one typically associates with them.
Beer’s most recent body of work explores two major cultural symbols: Hot Rods and Lipstick. When grouped together, both terms immediately bring to mind thoughts of power, seduction, confidence, attraction, and sexuality. On an aesthetic level, both objects are designed to entice, allure, and bait. On a functional level, each promises an experience that alludes to potency, strength, vigor, and independence. With her most recent series of candy colored, highly detailed, functional steel objects, Beer hopes to accomplish just that.
According to the artist:
“The anthropomorphic qualities of furniture are central to the development of the domestic landscape. The objects we use are part of how we form identity through recognition of difference and physical manifestations of social codes. They become both children and predecessors to our intimate experience and we live together on a spectrum between ergonomics and image, play and use, intimacy and performance.”
Beer has a BFA in Sculpture from Maine College of Art and an MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, such as The Ruth Chenven Foundation Grant, The Furniture Society Educational Grant, and a Horizon Award Honorable Mention from the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. She was an Artist in Residence at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina from 2005 to 2008 and a Windgate Artist in Residence at Purchase Collage in New York in 2011. Her work has exhibited at prestigious institutions on a national level; highlights include The Mint Museum, The Fuller Craft Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, SOFA Chicago, Palm Beach 3, and The International Contemporary Furniture Fair. Most recently, Beer was selected as one of 40 artists for the Smithsonian’s “40 under 40: Craft Futures” exhibition, which will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC in 2013.
Fascinated by the notion of challenging traditional labels that categorize art, Wexler Gallery exhibits work that can coexist in the worlds of design, fine art, decorative art and craft. By questioning and challenging the boundaries of these fields, we aim to present functional and non-functional work that consistently celebrates innovation. Unified by a commitment to excellent craftsmanship and true dedication to their art, we are proud to showcase some of the world’s most esteemed artists working in their areas of pursuit.