Melissa Ichiuji: In the Flesh
Melissa Ichiuji, Everything to Lose # 221, 2012, c-print, 34 x 45 in.
August 30 - December 6, 2013
Reception: September 25, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Artist's Talk: September 25, 4 p.m.
Schmucker Art Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of sculpture by nationally and internationally recognized artist Melissa Ichiuji. Ichiuji was voted one of the top 100 Washington, DC artists last year; her work is political, sometimes controversial, and always suggestive of power, violence, and mortality. Ichiuji’s sculptures are sewn and assembled using a combination of natural and synthetic materials such as leather, latex, dried fruit, bones, human hair, fur and pantyhose. While much of her fantastical figurative work is evocative of a Surrealist aesthetic, more recent sculptures take on the current political scene in Washington, DC. Portraits of Mitt Romney, Osama Bin Laden, Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin, among others, have garnered significant attention in the media for their uncanny and seemingly brutal likenesses. Ichiuji explains that the portraits reveal the “destructive erosion of media spin and public scrutiny.” Moreover, she seeks to challenge “the tradition of portraiture that elevates its subject to affirm his or her nobility, virtue and power.” The exhibition at Gettysburg College is an installation of Ichiuji’s newest series of works, a theatrical and engaging examination of politics, portraiture, and popular culture.
Melissa Ichiuji received her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. She has exhibited at Irvine Contemporary in Washington, DC and participated in group exhibitions in Paris, Berlin, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC (Commissioned by WPA and the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities) and SCOPE-Miami. Her work has been reviewed and featured in The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Art in America, Washington Times, NY Arts Magazine and Fox5, KVVU in Las Vegas. She appeared on the cover of the Washington Post Style section in 2006 for her performance entitled STRIPPED where, perched on a platform in front of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, she deprived herself of basic comforts including food and shelter in an attempt to purge herself of excessive stimulation and consumption. Ichiuji began her career as a professional dancer and actress, training with Martha Graham, dancing as a member of Alvin Ailey’s company, and touring Europe in a production of West Side Story. Her sculptural work reflects her ongoing interest in how a gestural and distorted figure ambiguously conveys emotion and narrative, desire and discomfort, as well as fear and pleasure.
This exhibition is supported in part by EPACC, Gettysburg College.