Flesh + Bone
January 31 – March 14, 2009
Reception for the Artists: Saturday, January 31, 6 – 9 pm
Los Angeles, CA - Sam Lee Gallery is pleased to present Flesh + Bone, the first solo gallery exhibition in California by Nevada-based artist Rebekah Bogard. The gallery will host a reception for the artist on Saturday, January 31, 6 – 9 pm. The show opens on January 31 and closes on March 14.
Flesh + Bone is a metaphoric title that references both the colors of the artist’s latest series of ceramic sculptures and also her exploration of under-the-skin complexities in human relationships. As a sophisticated assault on the senses, Bogard’s fantastical installation depicting imaginary yet nature-inspired creatures – each a laboriously handcrafted, low-fired earthenware finished with oil, underglazes, and glazes – is set within a ceramic landscape of fecund flora. Arranged mostly in pairs, the hybridized creatures resembling deer and stag are enveloped in heavy embraces, sometimes cuddling, licking and nuzzling one another. In addition, small ceramic leaflet blossoms complement each coupling being, situating these superbly constructed objects in equally exquisite surroundings. Such created environments arouse a double take.
Bogard incorporates her own personal histories into her work. The artist’s made-up beings and objects are the surrogates through which normative stereotypes of gender roles, sexuality, and intricacies of human relationships are investigated. In this particular series, Bogard further pushes the traditional definitions of femininity through the employment of color and curvy lines within her sculptural pieces; she embraces pink colors and spherical shapes not as conventionally engendered symbols but as empowering re-contextualization of femininity. In Role Reversal (2008), the notion of power within traditional gender roles is called into question. Upon first glance, the “feminine” creature cuddles up to the “masculine” one, both intertwined in a state of congenial bliss, appearing cute and romantic. However, upon closer inspection, the “masculine” being with its head arched and eyes rolled back in a state of ecstatic agony is receiving copulation in the behind from the female counterpart. In this piece, the submissive role traditionally assigned to the female is subverted. The piece questions: who has the power? Supremacy in human interactions is never fixed and always malleable. In Sweet Somethings (2008), the issue of sexuality is explored. Here, two cross-fertilized, long-necked creatures are facing each other, both seated inside a cabbage-like bloom (reminiscent of genital orifices) and surrounded by a cacophony of curious hummingbirds. One gender-ambiguous animal whispers sweet somethings into the ear of the other, leaving the viewer with myriad open-ended narratives.
The presentation of Flesh + Bone is supported in part by the University of Nevada, Reno, College of Liberal Arts Scholarly and Creative Activities Grant Program, and the Sierra Arts Foundation Endowment Fune.
In conjunction with Flesh + Bone, Rebekah Bogard’s Twilight – her first solo museum exhibition in California – will be also on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College located in Monterey Park from February 9 to April 23, 2009. Artist’s reception will be held on Thursday, February 26, 6 to 9 pm; artist’s talk on Wednesday, February 25, 7:30 pm at VPAM at ELAC. For detailed information, please visit: vincentprice.elac.edu
Bogard received her MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in 2003 and her BFA from the University of Wyoming, Laramie, in 2000. Since 2004, she is assistant professor of ceramics at the University of Nevada, Reno. Solo shows of Bogard's work have been held at Oats Park Art Center in Fallon, Nevada; Donna Beam Art Gallery, Las Vegas, Nevada; Nevada Museum of Art, Reno Nevada; and, Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery in Reno, Nevada. She has been included in group shows at Santa Fe Clay, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona; Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Florida; Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland, Washington; The Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, among numerous others throughout the U.S. Articles about her work have appeared in Art in America, Ceramics Monthly Magazine and Clay Times.
Digital images are available for press purposes. Please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for reproduction requests.
Sam Lee Gallery is located at 990 North Hill Street #190, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Phone 323-227-0275, Facsimile 323-227-0256. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 12 to 6 pm and by appointment. For detailed information, please visit the gallery’s website, www.samleegallery.com.