A Meticulous Ferment

June 23 – August 15, 2010

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The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art & Design will host the exhibition A Meticulous Ferment: Beth Lipman & Kirsten Hassenfeld from June 23 – August 15, 2010. An opening reception will be held on Wednesday, June 23 from 5-8pm.

This two-woman show employs material decadence as a format for a discussion of culture and consumption. Lipman and Hassenfeld create obsessively crafted works, respectively wrought in glass and paper, that share an interest in the history of the decorative arts and the cultural value of ornamentation. By balancing order with disorder these works critique our “object-obsessed lifestyles”, while simultaneously employing the role of things to convey important personal and cultural messages.

The exhibition will include a large scope of objects including Lipman’s The Bride, a towering handblown glass sculpture, as well as works on paper, photography, sculpture and a monumental installation of ornamental paper sculpture in the ICA main gallery by Hassenfeld. Unfolding on a grand scale, this array of works is the result of masterful and obsessive labor. Their grandeur is shadowed, however, by an insidious dissonance that bubbles under the surface, resulting in a languidly beautiful ferment.
Glass artist Beth Lipman creates sculptural compositions which recreate the bounty and visual sumptuousness of Renaissance and Baroque still-life paintings. Lipman earned a bachelor of fine arts from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in 1994. She has received grants from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Peter S. Reed Foundation, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts/National Endowment for the Arts and the Ruth Chenven Foundation. Since 2005, she has served as the Arts/Industry coordinator of the artist-in-residence program at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.

Sculptor Kirsten Hassenfeld received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994 and an MFA from The University of Arizona, Tucson in 1998. In 2004, she had a solo exhibition at Bellwether Gallery, New York. Her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions throughout New York at The Jewish Museum, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, and the Brooklyn Museum. She has been artist-in-residence at Dieu Donné Papermill, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, and Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program. In 2006, Hassenfeld was awarded a grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation.