Congratulations to Suzan Shutan, who curated the new show at the Housatonic Museum of Art called “Pins and Needles.” When you go, make sure you travel the halls outside the gallery. You’ll catch a show on hard-edge abstraction and a few master works, like a Roy Lichtenstein, unassumingly hanging there, while students rush by unaware.
In Suzan’s show, women artists transform the ordinary into mystery, beauty, pain, and whimsy, commenting on women’s work and women’s lives overall.
Starting with such a tight concept–working with pins and needles–these ten or so artists each create something distinctive to her voice. Erwina Ziomkowska’s work is unmistakable, and ouch! painful!.
You don’t have to tell me that these shoes would hurt!
Karen Shaw works with words, tagging the image with layers of meaning. Three of her “Arcade” series are in the show, Make sure you look closely to see how Shaw plays with ideas with words, you got it, stuck on with pins.
I like Kim Bruce’s sculptural figures made out of cast beeswax, straight pins, and cloth. My maternal grandparents both worked with pins and needles for a living, and her work reminds me of a sewing dummy or a pin cushion figurine. But she is likely to be commenting on something much more serious.
Suzan has done a great job installing the show to create a lot of visual interest beyond the obvious. She has included large wall works and pieces on the floor, busting the gallery walls open.
Hands down, or pins and needles in hand, my favorite works were by Suzan. Who can resist her pom pom series “Homage to Ellsworth Kelly”? Not me!
The opening is tomorrow night, if you can make it, and the show runs through February 20.