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October 8 - October 18, 2012
The George Caleb Bingham Gallery is pleased to host The M.F.A.Thesis Exhibit by Catherine Armbrust. The reception will be on Friday, October 12th, 6:00 - 9:00 pm, In conjunction with Artrageous Friday. The exhibit, reception, and Artist lecture are free and open to the public.
Welcome to Catherine Armbrust's world where porcelain meets
Channeling a carnivalesque Rococo spirit, Armbrust parodies gender stereotypes and behavioral posturing through a series of lavishly adorned, latex-infused costumes. They are temporary "second skins" of illusive identity one might don to entice a potential mate. Such strategies are often engrained into our biological makeup and our cultural psyche, becoming amplified and exalted through the distorted lens of visual media sources.
Within the gallery mannequins wear the costumes, populating an artificial but alluring arena built of plastic commodities, inflatable toys, aquarium rocks, and synthetic hair. The vibrant environment, inspired by Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" and the paintings of Fragonard, floats somewhere between a Macy's window display and a surreal erotic oasis.
Catherine Armbrust's body of work takes a critical but arousing peek at the hyper-sexualization of the American social landscape and its effects on romantic and sexual roles. She presents a humorous portrait of an insecure society obsessed with surface relationships and dedicated to making it through Faking It.
About the artist:
Born in 1972, Catherine Armbrust grew up as a southern-fried Arkansan, but has lived in Missouri off and on since 1989. Armbrust received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Missouri in 1994 and is now in the final throes of the MFA program at MU studying Fibers and Sculpture. Armbrust is the most recent recipient of MU's Donald L. Bartlett Memorial Scholarship, as well as the recipient of the Verna Wulfekammer Art Doctoral Fellowship for the second year in a row. When she is not dipping objects in latex you might find Armbrust either with her hot glue gun in hand, scavenging for chocolate, or watching reality TV (for "art research" purposes only).
Catherine Armbrust, "Edible Context I" (with inflatables)
Department of Art
College of Arts and Science
University of Missouri