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Gallery Conversation » The Beyond Artist Britny Wainwright
Join artist Britny Wainwright for a conversation on her artwork in the temporary exhibition The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe & Contemporary Art.
Space is limited; please arrive 5 to 10 minutes early.
The Gallery Conversation is free, but a ticket to the exhibition is required: $10 (Free for members and youth ages 18 and under), available at Guest Services or https://crystalbridges.org/okeeffe
The domestic interior is often a breeding ground for tacky ornamentation. Wallpaper, slip covers, dinnerware, and textiles are all prime vehicles for decorative patterning. And as decoration is the traditional realm of women, it frequently become synonymous with femininity. Pressing against these societal norms, the work of Britny Wainwright points to the dismissal of decoration as a larger metaphor for the exclusion of women in high art. Her sculptures embrace these patterns along with their baggage while attempting to also recast decoration “as a medium of power.”
Wainwright’s militant insertion of decoration into the gallery prompts reconsideration using a medium sometimes shunned by the art world. Ceramics are frequently used to create functional objects and therefore often lives in the world of craft. But in works like Enduring Blossom, Wainwright’s use of clay is anything but practical, taking up a large amount of space, providing no functional purpose, and festooned with floral designs. Like a decorative pillow, it serves no “useful” purpose, but in this way effectively becomes an artistic triumph, layered as it is with critique.