MARIANNE MCGRATH

Through her sculpture and installation work, McGrath juxtaposes porcelain and industrial materials in unconventional ways as she initiates a conversation between the natural and the artificial. Bridge, her newest piece, features stark, ceramic reeds sprouting from concrete blocks. Roots, a series rendered in varying sizes, consists of tree roots growing out of a line of porcelain row houses, suspended in air like an impossible dream while physicalizing a human ideal. Each piece is a study in contradiction, crafted to suggest that the permanent is almost impossible in the natural world but a constant objective of memory and thought. These works present scenarios that are impossible yet immediately visually understood, that speak of both landscapes lost and the longing for this idea of home that we as humans all possess.

"I draw inspiration from a childhood spent on a Southern California farm and my experience of revisiting it for the first time while in graduate school. I found that the farm, which had been in my family for five generations, was now tract housing, freeway ramps and a shopping center. I began to question how these memories of mine could have validity when there is no longer a physical landscape in which to place them. These works present an inherent contrast of meaning; landscapes that exist as memory, not as the physical environments that one may remember them to be."

(Adapted from an interview with McGrath by Diego Vega, 2013

 

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