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"Judy Fox: Love and War"
2001-12-09 until 2002-03-03
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
USA United States of America
Judy Fox creates life-size sculptures of children as cultural icons. Using characters from fairy tales, scripture, mythology, history, and art, Fox reconfigures adult characters as children. She blends myth and reality in sculptures that, in her words, are striving for the ideal, the beautiful, the divine.
Fox's desire to present ideal characters—the embodiment of heroes or icons—is reflected in the careful production of each sculpture. Molded in either terra-cotta or hydrastone and then delicately painted, the sculptures combine both idealized and generalized features—much in the way that heroic tales reflect a mixture of fact and fiction. Fox suggests, Like gods the character of these potential adults is completed in the imagination. She intentionally leaves the sculpted characters undressed as an attempt to move beyond a surface reading, not for the sake of voyeurism. She challenges stereotypes through pose and association, not through clothing and other artificial means. Fox chooses to sculpt children because she feels that they can represent a moment in time that adults cannot—a moment before too many ideas have been collected and categorized, before too many assumptions have been formed. She feels that the body is the surface reflection of internal attitudes, in her words, Figures are not just bodies but are the outside of individuals who look the way they do because of what they are doing and thinking.
As a way to address the formation of identity on historical, social, and cultural levels, Fox selects characters that represent a wide range of cultures and time periods. While she produces each individual sculpture as a character study, she recognizes particular relationships when certain sculptures are grouped together. The seven sculptures included in this exhibition—Attila, Saturn's Son, Friar Tuck, Dying Gaul, Rapunzel, Lakshmi, and Delilah—represent individuals that, in some sense, personify two abstract but age-old concepts: love and war.
Fox earned a B.A. at Yale University and an M.A. at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her work has been exhibited at the 1995 Venice Biennale; the Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C.; Exit Art, White Columns, and PPOW in New York City, etc. This JMKAC installation is her first solo exhibition in a museum venue.