Saturday, December 9, 2023

Matney Gallery Hosting Joint October Show with William & Mary

Sculpture by Laura Frazure (Provided by the Linda Matney Gallery and William & Mary)

WILLIAMSBURG — For the month of October, the Linda Matney Gallery and William & Mary’s Andrews Gallery will be featuring a joint show, showcasing artist Laura Frazure.

Laura Frazure is a sculptor and Assistant Professor in the School of Art at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has also taught anatomy at The New York Academy of Art, the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, and the Tianjin Academy of Fine Art in Tianjin.

Frazure agreed to the show in Williamsburg after reconnecting with current William & Mary professor Elizabeth Mead, who used to be her university classmate.

The show at William & Mary and the Matney Gallery is called “Bodily Rhetoric,” which focuses on celebrating the female form. Frazure uses various mediums, from bee’s wax to 3D printing, to sculpt and capture the expressions and body language of her original forms — using mostly invented bodies as the basis for her sculptures.

“Scopophilia, a term that Freud introduced, refers to the pleasure of looking and also being looked at. So, I’m kind of playing in that arena. Pulling images from media. Whenever I watch a movie, I’ll stop it and take an image if there is a facial expression or body configuration that is intriguing or if I’m just blown away by the beauty that’s represented,” explained Frazure.

“Scopophilia has a range of negative to positive sort of qualities. And I’m thinking all of that range,” she added.

Frazure’s influences include literature, popular culture, politics, the media, and art history; all directed toward the uses, commodification, and modes of presentation of women. Narrative fiction has been a particularly big influence, with “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert being one of particular note.

“The whole point [of the story] was that Flaubert was disgusted by the bourgeois values. Yet he spent five years writing this book. So the general principle was one of disgust and one of rage, yet he created this amazing piece of literature. So I’m kind of thinking about that and sort of making work from things that I find distasteful or annoyed by or that I rage against. And hopefully making something exquisitely beautiful,” Frazure said.

The distaste and annoyance that Frazure feels is the commodification and objectification of the female form prevalent in media.

On Saturday, Oct. 8, Frazure will be at the Matney Gallery from 3-6:30 p.m. to officially open the show. The Andrew Gallery at William & Mary opened on Oct. 6 for viewing. There, visitors will be able to ask questions and discuss Frazure’s artistic methods and the use of mediums, as well as her process of “direct modeling.” 

Both exhibits will be run through the month of Oct. For more information about the Andrews Gallery at William & Mary and the Matney Gallery, visit their respective webpages.

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