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UMW – Ridderhof Martin Gallery – Lily Cox-Richard: The Stand
March 18, 2015 - May 3, 2015
Lily Cox-Richard is an awards winning artist who earned her MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and her BFA in Jewelry/Metal Arts at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California. Cox-Richards won the Smithsonian Artist in Research Fellowship (2012), she was the University of Michigan Society of Fellows, Ann Arbor, MI (2012-2013), and Cox-Richard received the Faculty Seed Grant from the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, University of Michigan (2012).
Lily Cox-Richard’s exhibit The Stand (Possessing Powers) is a set of sculptures that reference back to sculptor Hiram Powers’ great works. Powers created sculptures that emphasized the beauty of the physical body. Cox-Richard recreates the stands that these sculptures were placed on. Some of Powers’ pieces that Cox-Richard re-creates stands for include The Greek Slave, The Last of the Tribes, and Eve Tempted. Cox-Richard’s work emphasizes how stands accent and amplify the sculptures that are placed on them.
In The Stand (Possessing Powers) , I explore the history of sculpture as it relates to the myths and allegories used to promote American national and artistic identity in the 19th century. I am creating a series of sculptures based on works by the American neoclassical sculptor, Hiram Powers. In his works, idealized female figures symbolize allegorical themes. Further reducing subtractive sculpture, I am recarving these works without the figures, focusing on the elements that structurally support the figure. By co-opting Powers’works and making them my own, I aim to complicate the gender and implicit sexuality of both sculpture and sculptor. Reduced to their structural supports, my carved plaster sculptures are both originals and copies, homage and critique, familiar and strange, created in an attempt to see what new content might be revealed when the figure is removed, and how this work can be transformed when it is reimagined through a contemporary sculpture practice.