by Eve M. Kahn
Locks Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Ann Agee. The Kitchen Sink will be on view September 4 through October 13, 2012. There will a reception for the artist on Friday, September 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
For her second solo exhibition at Locks Gallery, Agee designed an installation of white porcelain sculptures and mixed-media objects, creating a visual conversation on feminism, craft, labor and modern family life.
Ann Agee's work plays with historical conventions of decorative and fine art, as seen through contemporary eyes—the white porcelain quotes both eighteenth-century English porcelain, and chinaware found in second-hand stores. The resulting body of work resembles a range of fantasized objects that tell of the artist's daily life, which is inseparable from her art. The gallery space is transformed into a partial replica of the artist's home studio, and a hybrid market place.
Stenciled floor-to-ceiling scrolls reproduce parts of Agee's studio in unrealistic, bright colors. A jumble of white, flowery sculpture-objects in porcelain cover large tables. Figurines represent daily life activities, from gardening to street protesting, children studying, and the artist modeling her pieces at the wheel. Some are kept under glass domes, while smaller porcelain objects are stored in jars. Hand-made shoes, dresses, and steel chairs, among other things, complete the tableau. A hand-made catalog advertises the objects on view, most of which bear the Agee Manufacturing Co. stamp, as a signature of the artist’s “production”.
Agee recently created major installations at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY (2012) and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA, (2010). Her work has been seen in prominent clay exhibitions Dirt on Delight, Institute of Contemporary Art, PA (traveled to the Walker Art Center, MN) and Conversations in Clay, Katonah Art Museum, NY. She has been a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1997) and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1992, 1989), among others. Her work is in the collections of The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; The De Young, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; The Henry Art Museum in Seattle, WA; The Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, FL; The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; and The RISD Art Museum, RI.