May 7 - June 30, 2016
Kerry Schuss presents the third solo exhibition by New York artist Alice Mackler. At 85-years of age, Mackler continues to develop her art at full force, making innovative strides with new works in three mediums; sculpture, painting and drawing. The theme uniting these otherwise disparate bodies of work is the female figure and personae. On an aesthetic level they all share the similarities of lively applications of exuberant color. The ceramic sculptures are notable for a vibrancy that comes from Mackler's adoption of pure white clay, which highlights her new glazing technique of painterly strokes of bold color.
The sculptures range in size from 8 inches to 2 feet tall. Several of the works have double faces, or pairs of connected characters and each piece represents a female figure with distinct personality. With their voluptuous forms, they call to mind ancient fertility sculptures like the Venus of Willendorf as well as modern versions of the female form by Gaston Lachaise, Willem DeKooning and Niki de Saint Phalle. There is much humor and whimsy in these joyful pieces and a depth of soul reflecting Mackler's many years of experience in life and art.
Her paintings revolve around female subjects pictured on pages clipped from fashion magazines. Glued to canvases of varying size, these highly erotic images of beautiful young actresses and models are personalized with bold strokes of acrylic paint in hues inspired by the palette of the collaged image. The colors and gestures in these paintings echo those of her new sculptures.
Drawings have long been a part of Mackler's exploration of the female form. Her wildly animated line drawings call to mind the work of Alexander Calder, Saul Steinberg and Jean Dubuffet. In Mackler's loosely drawn female figures reflect the shapes and spirits of her sculptures. In the areas surrounding these images, Mackler has freely dabbled and brushed colors she uses in her sculptures and paintings forming an infectious three-part harmony.
Alice Mackler was born in 1931 in New York City and has been making art most of her life. Mackler studied at the Arts Students League and received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. In the past few years Mackler's work has been seen in numerous group exhibitions including; "Unorthodox" The Jewish Museum, New York, NY in 2015, "The Avant-Garde Won't give Up: Cobra and its Legacy", Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA, in 2016 and "Gardens of the Pure" MOCA Tucson in 2016. Alice Mackler's work will be included in the upcoming book from Phaidon, "Vitamin C", (ceramics).