Old Souls (Reincarnated Objects)
May 6, 2011 through June 25, 2011
PHILADELPHIA – In the main gallery space, Wexler gallery is proud to present Old Souls: Reincarnated Objects, curated by gallery director Sienna Freeman. Featured artists include Orly Cogan, Brian Dettmer, Flore Gardner, and Jessica Joslin. The exhibition will run from May 6th through June 25th, 2011. * An opening reception will take place First Friday, May 6th from 5 – 8 pm.
The exhibition will focus on four artists working with found objects of an intimate nature including family photographs, used books, animal bones, and other earthly belongings. Over time, these objects are often discarded, lost, or forgotten by their original keepers. Transformed by the artistic process, the objects undergo a metamorphosis, becoming much more than relics. They are given a second life, one that is different and perhaps more momentous from that of their first incarnation.
New York City based embroidery artist Orly Cogan’s work deals with tradition, history, fantasy, and folklore, while exploring ideas about intimacy, relationships, and gender roles. Starting with vintage textiles and found fabrics (including bed sheets, pillow cases, handkerchiefs, and more), the artist stitches complicated narrative scenes, often depicting multiple nude figures on a personal and symbolic journey. According to the artist, the work evolves from Cogan’s own “personal mythologies” and memories, “collapsing time and history as the past combines with the present.”
Born in Jaffa, Israel in 1971, Cogan has a BFA from the Maryland Institute Collage of Art and has studied at The Cooper Union for Advancement of Science & Art in New York. The artist has exhibited at galleries and museums internationally; highlights include The Museum of Art + Design in New York, The Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto, The Riverside Museum of Art in California, and The Hudson River Museum in New York. Cogan’s work has also been reviewed in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Art In America, Art News, Interior Design, Elle, Miami Times, W Magazine, Fiber Arts, Time Out Chicago, New York, and more.
Atlanta based artist Brian Dettmer’s work begins with the appropriation of pre-existing materials such as old books, records, tapes, maps, and other antiquated media. Well know for his complex book dissections, Dettmer is interested in altering physical forms of information in order to expose unexpected new meanings and interpretations of the material. Working with knives, tweezers, and surgical tools, the artist intricately carves his book sculptures page by page, from front cover to back- only removing material, never adding. The artist sees the end result as a collaboration between himself and the object’s past creators, exposing “new relationships of the book’s internal elements, exactly where they have been since their original conception.”
Originally from Chicago, Dettmer has a BA from Columbia College. His work can be found in many collections across the globe and has exhibited internationally in several museums, universities, and art centers. Highlights include the Museum of Art and Design (NY), the International Museum of Surgical Science (IL), Museum Rijswijh (Netherlands), Wellcome Collection (England), the Bellevue Arts Museum (WA), The Kohler Arts Center (WI), Hyde Park Art Center (IL), and the Illinois State Museums in Chicago and Springfield (IL). Dettmer’s work has also been featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, Modern Painters, Wired Magazine, The Village Voice, Vogue Italia, Harper’s, Time Out, Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and National Public Radio and more.
Scottish born artist Flore Gardner manipulates found vintage photographs to create new narratives, alternate meanings, and symbolic connotations for preexisting images. Working with methods such as hand-stitched embroidery and painting with gouache, much of the artist’s work deals with the idea of “In-between-ness.” According to the artist, this concept relates to Gardner’s own “nomadism between two countries (France and Britain) and two languages, a double seeing and thinking.” The idea of the “double” is present throughout the artist’s extensive body of work, at the center of which is the artist’s own collection of hundreds of found photographs, magazines,
texts and old drawing papers. Gardner feels that “looking at these is like looking through someone else’s eyes, someone from the past; they are “uncanny” (Unheimlich) – very familiar yet strange.”
Gardner has a PhD in Fine Art from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, a Masters degree from Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier & Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, and an undergraduate degree from Edinburgh University in Modern Languages. Her non traditional craft-based embroidery work and photo-based work has shown internationally throughout the UK, France, Germany, and China. Old Souls will be the artist’s second exhibition in the USA. Gardner currently lives and works in Avington, France and Sutherland, Scotland.
Chicago based sculptor Jessica Joslin creates three dimensional fantastic “creatures” from a variety of animal bones, feathers, furs, found objects, antique mechanical parts, brass, and other types of mixed media. Joslin became a collector of forgotten treasures from both the natural and man-made world at a very early age. Years later, many of these objects became puzzle-parts in the artist’s whimsical and complex skeletal sculptures. Theatrical in pose, expression, and demeanor, Joslin’s creatures take on a sense of liveliness and personality that is both humorous and morose; celebratory and mourning; dead and alive.
Born in Boston, MA Joslin has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also studied at the Studio Art Centers International in Oxford, England, the Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy, and the Parsons School of Design in New York. The artists work can be found in major collections around the world, and has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibition at galleries and institutions across the US. Her work has also been featured in international publications such as Bizarre Magazine (UK), Metalsmith Magazine, Craft Magazine, Dazed & Confuse, Juxtapoz, The Artist’s Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and more.
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.