Vivian Monteiro


January 23-February 10, 2023

Sprague Gallery

View of a clay sculpture partially damaged by and melted in water. A female bust with open eyes is installed on soil.
Mary Oliver Becoming the Earth, 2021, clay in miniature garden, dimensions variable. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Sprague Gallery is pleased to announce Vivian Monteiro – Extensible, an exhibition of sculptures and drawings by Vivian Monteiro (Scripps ’23, Art and Media Studies).

Monteiro’s works are often depictions of life and do not end in the stillness of the form. In the selected works, each body lives, changes, and thus extends beyond the fixed image and position that contain its life; and it invites thoughts on what living, changing, and being extensible might require which are both the risk and the force of living. For example, in Luster (2019), a ceramic sculpture that depicts in abstraction a combination of various succulents of California, singular bodies, as a result of their living, intermingle with each other and together embody a quality of the other or the foreign, or, as the artist would say, “a supernatural alien landscape,” “the shiny, unreal.” In Mind-Space (2021), a mixed media sculpture using a Barbie doll, the female figure “pushes against the [inescapable] interior of her mind with all her might, but to no avail”; yet, in a close look, the smile on the figure’s face and the rupture created between the membranes of the brain suggest the figure’s recognition of what it takes to live, change, and extend beyond herself. And in The Hairy Odalisque (2021), a ceramic and mixed media sculpture inspired by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ Grande Odalisque (1814) and the Guerrilla Girls’ adaptation of the same work in Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? (1989), the female figure smiles and gazes as she grows hair throughout her entire body. The artist intends to give the figure empowerment and confidence and challenge the viewer’s fear of body hair. But additionally, despite the smile and despite the force, there appears to remain the fear of body hair the figure herself must feel. The hair stands on end.

Vivian Monteiro – Extensible opens on January 23 and continues through February 10, 2023. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM. The exhibition is open to the public. The Covid-19 guidelines will be updated as new information becomes available.

The exhibition is curated by arts director Julia Hong of the HMC Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts.

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