MCA’s newest exhibition in Rust Hall’s main gallery showcases the work of Kendall Carter, Orly Cogan, Margaret Evangeline and Mark Newport. Cross Currents explores the expectations of gender with accepted stereotypes illuminated through the art of these four contemporary artists in an effort to challenge the traditional roles men and women play in society.
“I have been aware of Mark Newport and Orly Cogan's work for a long time now and it struck me that both were working in ways that were against gendered expectations - men should not knit and women should make pretty embroidered articles for domestic consumption. I looked for two more artists to balance the show, Margaret Evangeline because her metal paintings are composed with gunshots and Kendall Carter because his works assimilate every day objects and question the boundaries of art and design,” says Jennifer Sargent, Associate Professor and Director of Exhibitions at MCA.
Contradictions in subject and form are inherent to the works, although not overt, as most people identify masculinity within the context of a heroic type, tough and unfeeling, while textiles and decorative arts are generally ascribed to the feminine ideal, soft and sweet, flowing with compassion.
However, Newport captures the male form (including the notably brooding and mysterious Batman) with a variety of quirky, full-body, knit suits. Evangeline’s works inversely transform luminous, often reflective, rigid surfaces into violent canvases shot through with different calibers of guns — in some cases softening the outward blast with glimpses of a delicate motif on ceramic to fully realize her vision. Cogan’s intricate embroidery work completes the show with all too truthful scenes of life, particularly womanhood, to beautifully convey the ugly realities behind closed doors. The exhibition runs until March 25th.
Right down the hall, the alumni gallery has an incredible show of paintings by Erin Morrison, now an MFA Painting Candidate at UCLA. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, she has exhibited work in galleries from California to New York upon receiving her bachelor's degree from MCA, and has also been published in numerous arts magazines.
Composed with coffee, graphite, ink, crayon, gouache, acrylic, and pigment, this selection from Morrison’s Flight series demonstrates an impeccable fluency in constructing breathtaking scenes of surrealism. Her paintings are available for purchase, on display until April 8th.