Dawn Cerny is the winner of the 2020 Betty Bowen Award at the Seattle Art Museum. Join us online as we celebrate her new exhibition Les Choses (Things), with an artist conversation and Q & A.
Cerny is transforming the aesthetics of the White Cube with five recent sculptures, whose slumping forms contrast with the shiny geometric footings on which they rest. Velveteen wall cutouts in the shape of doors give the suggestion that visitors are entering a stage.
The exhibition references the 1965 novel by French author Georges Perec, which follows a young Parisian couple dreaming of the good life in their overstuffed apartment. Les Choses features sculptures that embody mindscapes. Cerny answers modernist demands for elegance and clean lines with an aesthetic that reimagines the shape of necessity.
More broadly, her work explores the idea of “home” as both a concept and a place, and as an arena rich for investigation. Her recent body of work examines ideas of furniture and mothers as metaphors: figures that secure value for their potential to hold, display, or be absent-mindedly left with things. This pattern of holding as the creation of intimacy and belonging, pleasure, and self-preservation plays out repeatedly in her work
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