A Garden by the Sea
April 6- 27, 2005
There was once a woman who worked with her hands. One day, when she was quite young, she went to the world and said world, what are you made of? And the world answered, I am made of lines and shapes and light. And the woman responded, not through words but through
her hands, saying, out of your lines and shapes and light, I will make gardens.
And so she did.
Angiola Churchill's life is an example of private revelation and public service. She has been
a tireless explorer of her own artistic vision, and through her teaching and administrative positions at New York University, she has helped many people find their own. She was the first female full-time professor of art and is now Professor Emerita at New York University. For twelve years she chaired their Department of Art and Art Professions of the
Steinhardt School of Education, and for thirty years was Director of the NYU Graduate Studio Program in Venice. Her artwork has been shown in countless exhibitions
worldwide, in Korea, Venice, Paris, Costa Rica, New York, and elsewhere in Italy and the United States.
Her work is rooted in twentieth century traditions like Modernism and the burgeoning of feminist (and feminine) expression, but she continues to push and expand her imagery in the 21st century. There is a continuing sense of joy and exploration in her work, whether it is a small drawing of buoyant shapes or a large waterfall-like installation of cut and twisted paper.
She is not dealing with inert, lifeless substances, but materials that, under her touch, become responsive, alive, moving and flowing along with her hand. She makes a move, draws a line, touches something, and it changes under her hand, stimulating more ideas, different directions, different identities, and out of all this subtle information, she makes another move, draws another line, thinks of another way for her garden to take shape.
Some of her art fills entire rooms, like a current project for the historic 16th century Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) of Naples, Italy. This installation will be a maze of lacy hangings of crisp white paper that shape and filter light, creating a place for people to escape the chatter and noise of our world and come to themselves, a place of pilgrimage and meditation akin to a Japanese Zen garden. She often needs help for these large and
complex projects, so at times her studio reflects the atmosphere of a quilting bee, or resembles an artist's studio in the old style where many apprentices labor with the master.
And now she comes to us today to fashion her garden next to the sea where the light is strong, the beautiful sea light that shines through prisms of water, illuminating Angiola Churchill's
lines and shapes that make us wonder at the world, and wish and dream, like
all good gardens do.
Avra of the Forest
mixed media, 1995
oil stick on paper, 2005
oil stick on paper, 2005
Tree of Life
mixed media on paper, 2005
oil stick on vellum, 2004
oil stick on vellum, 1999
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