University of Delaware
Maren Hassinger, Hanging Boxes, 2013 (installation detail). Copyright Maren Hassinger

Sept. 4-Dec. 8: 'Boxes, Combs and Constellations'

Mechanical Hall Gallery presents exhibition 'Boxes, Combs and Constellations'


8:45 a.m., Sept. 3, 2013--The University Museums of the University of Delaware will present the exhibition “Hassinger and Clark: Boxes, Combs and Constellations” in the Mechanical Hall Gallery from Sept. 4-Dec. 8.

The exhibition highlights the visual alchemy of artists Maren Hassinger and Sonya Clark, whose creative agencies turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

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Hassinger’s primary material is the commonplace commercial box. Literal and allegorical, formal and conceptual, the boxes signal consumptive overload and containment as they express Hassinger’s liberatory intent -- to get out of the box. 

Clark works from the premise that hairdressing is the oldest textile art. Hair is both subject and medium, as are the accouterments of hair care and hair styling.

Clark transforms combs into carpets and tapestries and hair into portraiture and asterism — a pattern of stars recognized on Earth’s night sky.

Through their gifts of artistic innovation the artists will transform Mechanical Hall Gallery into a space for contemplation, consideration and ambulation. As messengers of history, culture and African diaspora aesthetics, and harbingers of confinement and immoderate consumption, their artistic permutations promise to engage viewers directly and deeply.

“Boxes, Combs and Constellations” follows short residencies of Hassinger and Clark at the University of Delaware in the spring of 2013.

A reception with the artists will be held on Sept. 18 at 6 p.m., and a series of noontime lectures also accompanies the exhibition. For program information see the University Museums website or call 302-831-8037.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue. 

The exhibition is curated by Julie L. McGee, curator of African American art with University Museums and associate professor of Black American studies.

Born in Los Angeles in 1947, Hassinger received her bachelor of arts degree from Bennington College in Vermont and her master of fine arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

A multimedia artist who creates sculpture, installation, performance, and video art, Hassinger has been director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore since 1997.

Clark was born in Washington, D.C., in 1967. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Amherst College, a bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a master of fine arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. 

A professor in the School of the Arts of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Clark has served as chair of the Department of Craft/Material Studies since 2006.

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