Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Joanna Gardner-Huggett reviews Ginny Sykes’ exhibition Alchemy and Archetype: Images In Black and White

Alchemy and Archetype: Images In Black and White - New Drawings by Ginny Sykes, July 2-Sept 1 

Ode to Pandora #2,Mixed Media on Paper, 25" X 34" (All images from show are on the gallery website under "Artists" and Ginny Sykes)

When one encounters Ginny Sykes’ exhibition Alchemy and Archetype they are immediately drawn into an intimate and powerful dialogue. Sykes first engages the viewer by luring the eye toward a complex series of arresting gestures and markings in pencil and charcoal. As the eye traverses these paths, the onlooker also begins to absorb and contemplate a range of archetypal forms. These symbols, such as silver’s association with both personal and creative reflection, allow Sykes to explore female experience and embodiment, but in a manner that resists imposing universals or monolithic ideals. Instead, it is precisely the abstract nature of Sykes’ abstract drawings that permit multiple points of entry for viewers and encourages contemplation of their own histories. Sykes further recognizes abstraction as a possible site of subversion and feminist intervention by embracing multifaceted meanings over fixed positions, which ultimately challenges modernism’s inherently patriarchal and authoritarian voice that all too often participates in women’s art historical erasure.

— Joanna Gardner-Huggett, Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Depaul University, Chicago, Illinois

Ogilvie and Pertl Gallery, River East Art Center, 435 E. Illinois St., Suite 151, Chicago, Illinois 60611

For More Information Contact: Jennifer Russ - 312.321.0750

Ginny Sykes

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