Debbie Han, Season of Being I (detail) by Debbie Han, SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity
 

SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity at the ArtsWestchester Gallery features Mari Ogihara

Mari Ogihara is featured in SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity at the ArtsWestchester Gallery in White Plains, NY. The exhibition runs Tuesday, March 15 through Saturday, June 25, 2016.

Les Demoiselles, 2015, Press molded clay, glazes, acrylic paint, rub & buff, 13” x 8” x 21”(tallest)

Les Demoiselles, 2015, Press molded clay, glazes, acrylic paint, rub & buff, 13” x 8” x 21”(tallest)

The exhibition explores what it means to be a woman in contemporary America. In an age that so heavily emphasizes identity, women of all ages struggle with the trappings of being female and with their own self-perception. SHE explores the concept that femininity, and gender generally, is a grand performance piece—a constant play between societal “norms” and self-definition.

The 11 exhibiting artists work across media and engage with themes of the body, self-presentation, a woman’s “proper” space, gender roles, and feminine personas. Many of the works draw on accessories and accoutrement that are identified with traditional notions of femininity (handbags, bras, doilies, nail polish) transforming these items into vehicles for witty reflections on modern womanhood. SHE will debut several new works as well as commissions specifically for the exhibition.

Ogihara states “My work is a synthesis of streamlined and repeated form paired with lively, colorful surface ornamentation. Each piece begins with the same prototype and takes on a life of its own through a meticulous process of slicing, altering and painting. The end result is an amalgamation of a unique exterior paired with a structurally anonymous form. Using plaster,wood and clay molds, I create blank ceramic canvases of an abstracted part of the human body or a cast of part of a mannequin. The ornamentation on the exterior surface works to enhance the luscious glow of the interior, which is colored in bright pinks and oranges. A repeated motif in my work is a snake-like patterning created by air-brushing glaze through women’s pantyhose. This sensual texture juxtaposes beautifully with areas of unadorned clay. The snake can shed its exterior armor and this symbolic decoration mirrors the theme of duality and transformation in my studio practice.”

Mari Ogihara, Underthing, 2015, Clay, glazes, 11.5” x 7” x 6”

Mari Ogihara, Underthing, 2015, Clay, glazes, 11.5” x 7” x 6”

Curated by Kathleen Reckling, SHE also features work by Nicole Awai, Valerie Piraino, Laurel Garcia Colvin, Mari Ogihara, Nancy Davidson, Kathy Ruttenberg, Marcy B. Freedman, Barbara Segal, Debbie Han, Tricia Wright, and Rebecca Mushtare.

Mari Ogihara, an adjunct professor of sculpture and ceramics, is a sculptor based out of Port Chester, New York. Her work explores ornamentation and embellishment as practiced in fashion and architecture from various cultures. Ogihara has studied ceramics in Kyoto, Japan and Gujarat, India and most recently a ceramic residency in Vallauris, France. Her sensual, snake-like porcelain sculptures are inspired by her travels. The repetition, meticulous detail, and ritualistic approach in decorating the surface are demonstrated on Ogihara’s sculptural forms. Her show Veiled Ornaments was exhibited at the Hammond Museum in North Salem, New York. Ogihara holds a B.F.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art.

ArtsWestchester’s mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support to ensure the availability, accessibility, and diversity of the arts in Westchester County. Established in 1965 as the Council for the Arts in Westchester, they are New York State’s largest private, not-for-profit service organization, working to ensure the availability and accessibility of the arts for all of the county’s residents. In 1975, they were named by Westchester County government as the County’s designated arts council and became one of several united arts funds in the country, providing grants and technical support to cultural organizations and artist residencies in the community. The ArtsWestchester Gallery is open and free to the public Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 12:00 to 6:00 pm, and is located at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, 3rd Floor, White Plains, NY. For more information visit artswestchester.org or 914.428.4220.

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