For human beings, the importance of physical shelter is undeniable. However, the idea, the word, the image of "home" is a highly charged concept, engendering very different notions for each of us. In this exhibition, 33 artists reveal shapes, places, and scenes of homes that may surprise us or trigger familiar memories and emotions.
Some artists have focused on the outside surroundings and the exterior look of homes. Others explore interior furnishings and objects that define the inhabitants, whether it's their own home, a prison cell or the White House. In addition to responding to the physical aspects of a home, artists also have sociological concerns. How do we make affordable homes for all? What happens when storms threaten or destroy people's living spaces or the economy forces people to lose their domestic environments to foreclosure? What if you live in the middle of nowhere or nowhere at all in the middle of a crowded city?
Psychological associations dominate some of the paintings, drawings, photographs, digital images, books and sculptures on view. Emotional traumas, a sordid past or unfulfilled dreams infuse certain works. In some, a history of being uprooted and having to adapt to a new "home" country and culture is evident. In others, happiness and joy about going home to familiar surroundings, family members, cherished friends and caretakers exude from their works.
Whether an old one or a current one, comfortable or foreign, a physical, psychological or conceptual place that you know well or have just encountered, "home" is a dominant image in the canvas of life for us all.
Virginia Fabbri Butera, Director, Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery
Home Exhibition List
Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery/ College of Saint Elizabeth
October 9 - December 15, 2014
Kiyomi Baird, Cyber Blue, 2013, Digital 3D on glass, $500
"I am concerned with the space in our being or psyche that defines “home” for us as a place of peace and sense of belonging."
Amy Becker, Aztec Café, 2010, Archival pigment print/photograph, $600
The entirety of this scene felt sad and lonely. I wondered if the woman, who seemed indifferent watching me shoot this image, had simply surrendered to her circumstances.
Amy Becker, Flag House, 2011, Archival pigment print/photograph, $600
When I came across this home, completely covered in the American flag, I wondered what happened in their lives that compelled them to go through this enormous effort and expense to make this very public and patriotic statement.
Bette Blank, Bette's House, 2003/13, Oil on linen, Price on Request
Vincent Buchinsky, Earthquake, 2013, Acrylic on canvas, $1,000
"Generally my interpretation of 'home' is a psychological one. I live within my mind; that is my home…Earthquake is in response to a hypnogogic sensory experience in which I believed that my house was rocking as if in an earthquake."
Pam Cooper, My Space VIII, 2013, Handmade paper, Xerox transfer of drawings, metal and pins, $8,000
The work references childhood and the home using xerox transfer prints of my drawings based on old family photos, old sewing pattern images, and domestic details. These houses confine the children in a claustrophobic interior and were created in response to the meteoric rise in social networking where children became vulnerable to predators in their own homes.
Steve DeFrank, The Great Bath, 2013, Pastel, casein and ink on paper, $7,000
I am a product of my environment; I was raised in front of the television in the suburbs of Connecticut. I have come to embrace my upbringing instead of pretending to be something that I’m not. The Great Bath is a group of pastels of all the in ground swimming pools I could imagine. I thought if one had an in ground swimming pool then that meant you must have been rich.
Liz Demaree, The Hidden Room, 2011, Inkjet prints, book cloth, wood, silk and mixed media, NFS
I made several books with a story called The Burnt House. One night during a severe thunderstorm, lighting struck their roof and started a fire on the third floor. What had been a modest renovation became a much larger project. It is in the course of this rebuilding that Alice discovers the hidden room. The Hidden Room” doesn’t follow a traditional book codex format, the design is based on an accordion book, with both “sides” being able to be “read.” There is text, but I feel the structure of the book itself tells the story.
Evans, Landscape of Dreams #1, 2014, Photograph, $ 600
The Landscape of Dreams series is a pictorial self-reflection that has its roots in the backdrop of rural New Jersey… In The landscape of Dreams series, the house becomes more significant and the venue is simplified. The uncluttered state lends itself to reflection and imaginings. The human and symbolically private structure of the house unites earth and sky. In this series, the house is a receptacle that sometimes serves to contain the privacy of the dream and at other times bursts open to let the dream escape.
Michael S. Fenton, Ruth, 2010, Mixed media: oil, acrylic, styrofoam, coffee, and dirt, $2500
Ruth worked for my grandmother in a boarding house in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It was during and just after WW II and I was five or six. I was often left in Ruth’s care and I loved her. I would play in the yard and I remember Ruth being in the doorway watching me as I played. She made me feel safe. The old screen door and the rickety steps...and Ruth. When I came back into the house, there was milk and a cookie.
Eileen M. Foti, Affordable Housing, 2011, Lithography with chine collé, Edition size:10, Printed by the artist; Published by Double Vision Workshop, $1250
This is part of her series on Housing of all types and she explains that she wanted to show her children why Affordable Housing is so important to society. VFB
© Art21, Inc. 2011.
What is the responsibility of an artist to her community? In this film, artist and activist LaToya Ruby Frazier discusses the economic and environmental decline of her hometown—Braddock, Pennsylvania—the city that the clothing company Levi's used as inspiration and backdrop for a major advertising campaign in 2010. Having photographed in Braddock since she was sixteen years old, LaToya's black-and-white images of her family and their surroundings present a stark contrast to the campaign images of "urban pioneers" and slogans such as "everybody's work is equally important." In a performance developed in collaboration with the artist Liz Magic Laser, LaToya carries out a choreographed series of movements on the sidewalk in front of the temporary Levi's Photo Workshop in SoHo. Wearing a costume of ordinary Levi's clothes, the artist's repetitive and relentless motion ultimately destroys the jeans she's wearing.
Cora Glasser, Sandy's Gravity, 2013, Pigmented marker and pencil on paper, $650
“Home”, for me, is New York City. I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens (where I currently maintain my studio), and live in Manhattan. “Sandy’s Gravity” takes note of what appears to be a static and calm environment not too long after the ravages of the hurricane. The particular building in these drawings is a very tall apartment building that was under construction at the time of Sandy. The crane was at the top of the building partially detached, hanging precariously for days. The effect of natural disaster in New York City has its own signature… Taking the good with the bad, the old with the new, the disturbing with the uplifting, New York City is home.
Alice Harrison, Returning Home, 2010, Acrylic/mixed media collage, $1200
Tom Judd, The Place, 2014, Oil on canvas, Courtesy of William Holman Gallery, NYC, $ 8,000
Tom Judd's work often deals with the American landscape particularly that of the West and the Wasatch Mountains and valleys in Utah where he grew up. The desolate nature of The Place speaks to the history of the West and those brave enough to travel into the unknown to find a place to live, but the isolation is also haunting and confrontational. VFB
Bukola Koiki, Security Blanket, 2014, Cloth, India ink, machine stitching and burned cloth pieces, $500
Burning, kneading, tearing and repairing. These are all actions I have employed in my work to explore human stories located at the confluence of memories, distance and time, but on an intimate scale. There is much to be plumbed from the depths of emotions surrounding individual definitions, experiences and memories of home.
Security Blanket is a pieced textile panel with origami envelopments that hold some of the burned names from the hanging textile panels. On the textile panels are repeated protective prayers in Arabic and it is my way of surrounding myself with the prayers from a shared religion with my loved ones though I cannot be home to receive their blessings.
Neal Korn, Foreclosure, 2011, Charcoal on canvas and wood, oil and metal, $4000
I was in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. I saw all these people living under the highway in a tent city. I could not believe my eyes. How is it possible we are unable to house the people living in these tents? We certainly could figure out a way to make things better for those who lost their homes. Meanwhile, I kept hearing on the news that more and more houses are being foreclosed. People close to me have been victims of this housing crisis. The houses series seeks to express the emotional importance attached to our houses and the crisis we face as individuals, as neighbors and communities when our houses are abandoned or destroyed.
Douglas Newton, Twisted Vines, 2005, Oil on canvas, $1500
These paintings are part of a series I did on the theme of Suburban Surrealism. They feature landscapes, gardens and houses of the American suburbs, mostly done from my imagination. The house is a symbol of the self. They are also influenced by 19th century folk painting, especially in the use of pattern and rhythm. In all, a dream-like vision of the American suburbs.
Vanessa Nilsson, The Fyris River and Pompton Waterfall, 2014, Oil and paper on canvas, $400
In the early 20th century, my great great-uncle was an artist in Uppsala, Sweden, well known for his paintings and etchings that depicted local scenes and landscapes. When I recently discovered this, I became fascinated to have this connection to my uncle, his art, and my Swedish heritage. Here I have created landscapes by collaging my great uncle’s etchings with my paintings of my hometown. By doing this, I want to create a new landscape that combines two different places in the world at two different time periods.
Nancy Ori, Their Bedroom, 2014, Archival inkjet photograph, $250
I was drawn to photograph the interior of this particular house after reading the history of Bodie, a Gold Rush town. It was inhabited by Lottie Johl and her husband Eli, the local butcher. Lottie began her career in the Red Light District. Nobody seemed to know anything about her life and she was only known in the beginning as Lottie, an attractive, kind person with soft hazel eyes and blonde hair. Eli frequented her establishment and fell madly in love. They married and Eli built her a new home and furnished it with velvet carpets, lace curtains and fine furniture that was shipped from the big city. Lottie took painting lessons and with the encouragement of her husband, continued to paint until all the walls were filled with her pictures. No one ever came to their home so Eli was the only one who saw them. One day she became ill and the doctor was called to prescribe something. That night, she died in their bed from the medicine, poisoned. A bed is where it all began and ended.
Franc Palaia, Home, 1993, Mixed media, $6000
In HOME, I illustrated 5 types of homes, from big to small, from top to bottom. From rich to poor. The illuminated images top to bottom are the planet earth, (everyone’s home), the White House (privileged and elite), a suburban middle class living room, and the bottom, a homeless street person, in this case in Washington D.C. a few blocks from the White House. The top structure is a bird -house and the bulk of the piece is a steamer trunk. Iconic for luxurious travel a century ago, or a home away from home.
Jose Pardo, The Detective, 2014, Oil on canvas, $900
I enjoy dropping in on this home for a visit every time my life needs a little mystery. I must confess it's never very neat in this home, but that's part of its appeal to me. You can find all sorts of things on his desk. I've seen evidence from different cases, experiments in progress, some tools of the trade and things that help the detective focus his sharp mind on the problem at hand. Alas, there is even a flask with that solution for when there are no cases to crack and boredom is his greatest nemesis. This one is at 221B Baker Street, London.
Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Square Dance II, 2013, Salvaged wood, $125
After Hurricane Sandy devastated the Northeast coastline of New Jersey and the surrounding area, I began collecting the bits and pieces of homes left behind in its wake—floorboards, window frames, cabinets, furniture, exterior siding—anything that I could find that evoked life before the storm. My art continues to be inspired by traditional American patchwork quilt designs—designs that are familiar and comforting. I create new relationships between color, proportion, texture, and surfaces and never interfere with the original colors.
Trix Rosen, Vernacular Kalinga Houses (Luplupa, Tinglayan, The Philippines), 1993, Photograph/Archival digital inkjet print, $1600
The ‘Kalinga Vernacular Houses’ are from my documentary series ‘A Kalinga Journey through Time.’ For over a quarter of a century, I have chronicled the dramatic transformation of an indigenous community set deep into the rice terraces of the northern Philippines. My earlier photographs include images of the last of the original one-room octagonal huts perched high on wooden posts. Now, they have all been replaced by two-story concrete, multi-room houses.
Seltzer, Basket in Two Rivers, 2010, Acrylic on canvas, rice paper photo-transfer, mono-print and collage, $5,000
I have transported my childhood home —a New Jersey, suburban, 1960s split-level— to an imagined riverbank that combines Moses’ crossing of the Red Sea and the Mississippi River Delta. I grew up in a home at the intersection of two automotive rivers: the NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. This imagery stems from a connection I sensed between the power of the Mississippi River and Nile River while I was on a volunteer mission to New Orleans in 2009. For both the people of the biblical Exodus and for the citizens of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, leaving home was an emotionally fraught choice. In both circumstances, people made the choice to bravely leave their homes. Shari shows the physical and emotional baggage people left at the side of the river.
Elke Solomon, Tablecloth, 2010, Vinyl-backed printed cotton, 1/5, $750
I have been pursuing my interest in the intersection of the cultures of food and art. Those intersections include research into the cultural origins of taste (both figuratively and literally), objectivity, the distinctions between “high and low”, aestheticism, performances, and the social conventions of presentation.
Ivette Spradlin, The Seen, 2000, One of a kind artist's book, 44 pages, Coptic bound, silver gelatin prints, collages created from photographs screen printed on pages, and hand set type letterpressed by the artist, $3500
This project was originally developed from the fall of 1999 to the spring of 2000. Tenants of four warehouses in the West End of Atlanta, GA—punks, artists, dreamers—agreed to be photographed. In addition, I requested a quote to accompany their photograph. Their likeness, their musings and the warehouse itself are the subject of a handmade book. The book is a record of the 1990’s DIY scene in Atlanta, GA. It is about a subculture, a lifestyle, and what constitutes a home. The tenants built their own rooms, alongside skateboard ramps, and music and art studios. The warehouses were not only a home but also a venue for parties, art shows, and concerts. They offered freedom to cheaply live as desired within the confines of a windowless box.
Miriam Stern, Mishpacha III, Digital print, $400
The Hebrew and Yiddish word for family is Mishpacha. When I think of home I think of family. I was blessed and fortunate to grow up in a loving warm home. Therefore, it is natural for me to think of individual members of my family when I think of home. Recently, with the death of my brother, of blessed memory, I have begun to revisit my early memories of family and home. I have travelled to several cemeteries in Israel and Clifton, NJ where my parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles are buried. Combining the pictures of the graves with old family photographs has brought me back to the past, examining our family dynamic, asking what made our family so strong and why the memory of home is so powerful.
Sussman, My Name is Mike, 2014, Photograph, $225
Heidi Sussman, Al Capone's Cell, 2014, Photograph, $225
In a world fraught with chaos and instability, the word “home” conjures a timeless sense of refuge; immediately evoking images of architecture, a significant subject in my photos. A home is more than a building—it can be an alley, a prison cell, or a crypt since homes are not only for the living. Homes can be located anywhere: a stainless steel New York City skyscraper designed by a storied architect; an old Victorian in a sleepy New England village; a graffiti painted alley that houses the homeless in a Midwestern town; a prison cell in Philadelphia once occupied by a notorious criminal.
Charlee Swanson, The White House is Broken, 2004, Wood, broken glass, barbed wire, Collection of Laura and Jeff Schaffer
Howard Tran, To-Tien # 7, 2006, Wood, clay book and twine, $2000
My work explores themes related to my background. My grandparents immigrated to Vietnam from China during WWII and my family and I lived in Vietnam until I was twelve. Though we translated our last name from Chinese to Vietnamese and assimilated in some ways, we still had a different language and customs. There I was considered Chinese. After immigrating to the United States this identity came into question. In this new context my connections to China were less relevant: I was from Vietnam, with a Vietnamese name; I spoke the language. To Americans I was Vietnamese. Now I have lived in the United States much longer than I have lived in Vietnam. I have assimilated to this culture to the extent that when I visit Vietnam, I no longer feel that country is my home. I consider myself Chinese Vietnamese American. I have aspects of all three cultures, yet I am in between them all. In my art I explore identity, home, keeping traditions, change, and the dichotomy between East and West.
Margaret Withers, Béjar gobbled raisinets at the majestic, 2011, Watercolor, ink, enamel on paper, $1650
I like to use the house as a symbol in my paintings because their simplicity obscures the complex and uniquely personal relationship that each viewer has to an idea of ‘home’. The telephone poles are a universal and quickly fading icon of communication that symbolize emotional connection, formality, privacy, disconnection and alienation.
Michael Wolf, Shuttered, 2013, Resin and wood, $1700
The themes I am investigating in my current work are the dichotomies of permanence and transience and sheltered vs. exposed. In these sculptures I have been exploring archetypal forms of architectural structures and the sculptural possibilities of these forms. I have examined how openings can pierce and divide the structure. Piercing these solid forms allows shadows to be created that move with the changing light of the day. A quote from Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space conveys the essence of this series of sculptures "...the imagination functions in this direction whenever the human being has found the slightest shelter: We see the imagination build "walls" of impalpable shadows, comfort itself with the illusion of protection-or, just the contrary, tremble behind thick walls, mistrust the staunchest ramparts. "
Sue Zwick, Gypsy Home, Kyrgyzstan, 2007, Digital photograph/Archival inkjet print, $ 750
In remote places like Kyrgyzstan, a home might be a yurt or a gypsy wagon caravan. The people who dwell in them are migratory. What “the comforts of home” means in one culture, may be quite different in another culture. Does it mean having running water, heating in winter and cooling in summer? Indoor plumbing? Having a roof over our heads?