January 17 – April 21, 2017
Sharp-Tongued Figuration brings together a group of artists who employ recognizable imagery as a means of commenting on contemporary culture, rather than a means of recording what they see. Sue Coe is a British social satirist working in New York, in the tradition of George Grosz. She produces illustrations for books and print publications, such as the New York Times, as well as drawings and prints. The watercolors and digital prints of Newark-based Nell Painter include both hand-drawn and collaged imagery; she uses them to re-write various histories, including that of the white slave trade and the history of modern art. Mickalene Thomas, a Camden native, uses the scale and some of the glossy seduction of billboards to create portraits of her friends executed in mixed-media collages; she also works in photography and video. Kukuli Velarde, who lives and works in Philadelphia, fashions ceramic sculptures that adopt techniques and imagery drawn from pre-Incan Peruvian cultures. All of them include the image of the artist, who is from Peru . Sandy Winters’ complex paintings illustrate a dystopian future with creatures whose bodies combine biomorphic forms with appendages derived from the hardware store. The New-York-based artist also creates room-sized installations out of large numbers of drawings.