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Michelle Marcuse / Holding Absence

Michelle Marcuse, List Gallery exhibition

Michelle Marcuse

Michelle Marcuse / Holding Absence

January 23—February 23, 2020

Artists lecture: Thursday, January 23 at 4:30 PM in the Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema.
A reception will follow in the List Gallery, 5:30–7:00 PM. All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesdays–Sundays, Noon–5:00 PM.

Michelle Marcuse’s creative practice is an ongoing dialogue between her childhood memories, dreamt worlds, and environmental circumstances. Holding Absence continues this conversation through suspended and wall-mounted constructions and mixed-media reliefs. In these works, Marcuse transforms mass-produced and discarded materials to question our relationship to waste and subvert expectations of structural integrity. Marcuse’s formative years growing up in the South African Apartheid system inscribed in her a sensitivity to the instability of structures and the potential for regeneration. Her List Gallery exhibition reflects this heightened awareness. Marcuse stacks, mends, and warps found cardboard into shifting structures that appear at once on the brink of collapse and expansion, destruction and emergence. Her works suggest the dual possibilities of decay and regrowth, fragility and endurance. Marcuse uses nontraditional elements to create metaphors for the architecture of our built environments and societal systems. These pieces generate a new language of experimentation, while also leaving space for imaginative lingering. Michelle Marcuse was born in New York City in 1957, and lived in South Africa from the age of 6 weeks until she was 18 years old. She studied at the Shenkar College of Fashion and Textile Technology, Tel Aviv, Israel and the Michaelis School of Art, Cape Town, South Africa, before receiving a BFA from Tyler School of Art in 1986. She has lived and worked in Philadelphia for more than thirty years and is co-founder and codirector of HouseGallery1816. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA; Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, Miami, FL; Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA; InLiquid, Philadelphia, PA; and the Gormley Gallery at the College of Notre Dame, Maryland. She was included in two editions of New American Paintings publications. Her awards include a full fellowship residency at the Vermont Studio Center (2012), and the Woodmere Endowment Fund Memorial Prize (2008). Marcuse’s sculptures, prints, and drawings are in the collections of notable institutions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the State Museum of Pennsylvania; the College of Notre Dame of Maryland; and the Bangkok Collection, US Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand. She has taught at numerous institutions including Moore College of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Illinois State University.

View a [PDF] of the exhibition press release here.

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