Locks Gallery is pleased to present Space Dreams, an exhibition of drawings and paintings from the 1970s by Edna Andrade (1917–2008). As part of (re)Focus 2024, a city-wide program celebrating women in the arts, this show will be accompanied with a panel discussion on Friday, February 2nd from 5pm to 7pm featuring curators Shelley Langdale of the National Gallery of Art and Mitra Abbaspour of the Harvard Art Museums.
50 years ago in May 1974, Edna Andrade wrote in an artist statement for her second solo show at Marian Locks Gallery: “I find myself in the ancient tradition of all of those anonymous artisans who have painted pottery and tiles, laid mosaic pavings, woven baskets and carpets, embroidered vestments and sewn quilts.” In this quote, Andrade evokes a process of art making that is divested of ego – a rejection of the ‘art star’ norm which at the time was dominated by white men – emphasizing instead her connection to the innumerable makers of history, many of whom were women, who have produced the multifarious wares and objects that comprise the vast visual cultures of our global humanity.
That same year, she was also included in the survey exhibition titled Women’s Work, American Art 1974 at the Philadelphia Civic Center, which connected her to the larger feminist movement of the time. Referring to her process and use of the grid in her drawings and paintings, Andrade said, “It’s the kind of thing women have always done – like knitting. Something you can pick up where you have the time, drop it when you get busy with something else, and come back to exactly where you left off.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, April 2, 1989)
This exhibition will include a selection of Andrade’s prints and drawings from the 1960s and 1970s, including intimate color and pattern studies that connect a modernist love of the grid to the aforementioned ‘ancient traditions’ honored in her work.
Edna Andrade lived and worked in Philadelphia for the majority of her career and is now recognized as an early leader in the Op Art movement. She received her BFA from the dual degree program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and University of Pennsylvania. At PAFA she was awarded two traveling scholarships which allowed her to visit Europe, exposing her to Bauhaus and post-war artists that influenced her later work. In 1996, she went on to teach at the Philadelphia College of Art where she was highly celebrated and awarded the College Art Association Award for Distinguished Teaching. Andrade was one of the foremost artists to emerge in Philadelphia in the 1960s and the focus of two major perspectives during her lifetime at PAFA and the ICA in Philadelphia.
Edna Andrade: Space Dreams will be on view in the first floor gallery and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10am - 6pm or by appointment.