Barnard Alumnae Exhibition

7-25 February 2011

Barnard College is pleased to present Re-turn, a group exhibition of 11 artists curated by Marley Blue Lewis (’05) and Julia Westerbeke (’03). Re-turn will be presented from February 7-25th, with an opening reception on February 10th from 7:00-9:00 pm. Both the exhibition and the reception are open to the public and are to be held at the Louise McCagg Gallery in The Diana Center, located on the Barnard College campus.

Re-turn inaugurates the annual Barnard alumnae visual arts exhibition. Bringing together both new and recent works produced by 11 exceptional and diverse artists, Re-turn does not attempt to collapse differences or force likeness between the artists or their work, but rather explore the dialogues produced between the art when installed together in a room. The exhibition concept is loosely drawn from the way in which each of the artists present their work as an idea, or series of ideas, upon which they re-imagine and push the boundaries of archetypes, histories, genres, mediums and gender.

Artists in the exhibition include Annabel Daou, Dahlia Elsayed, Debbie Grossman, Michelle Lopez, Marisol Limon Martinez, Louise McCagg, Jesse Mockrin, Zoe Nelson, Abby Robinson, Emily Weiner and Julia Westerbeke.

Louise McCagg (’59) celebrates and distorts the genre of portraiture through her miniature—in fact shrunken—casts of human faces, exhibiting a process of metamorphosis that is unsettling and endearing. Themes of the uncanny and the oddly familiar are also present in the beautifully executed sculptures of Michelle Lopez (’92) whose works re-form and re-imagine everything from toy cars and exotic flora to c3po and the death star. In a similar vein, Julia Westerbeke (’03) creates semi-abstract sculptures that she refers to as the “Alien Organic,” all of which are comprised of minute and repetitive gestures.

Annabel Daou (’89) is interested in the visual and corporeal effects of obsessive and minute repetition in her delicate and decisive text-based drawings and wall pieces. Culled from the literary world, the words and phrases of Dahlia Elsayed’s (’92) pop-inflected paintings are installed in clusters to form a self-reflexive mapping of poetry that is filled with humor, lust and anxiety.

Painters Emily Weiner (’03) and Zoe Nelson (’06) explore abstraction in its myriad of forms. Weiner illustrates a step-by-step process of abstraction, distorting the female figure in a manner that is at once diagrammatic and romantic. Nelson’s exuberantly colored paintings employ gestural abstraction as a mental process and activity, in this case, for “unwinding.” The expressive and dream-like paintings of Marisol Limon Martinez (’97) blend text, cinematic imagery and diaristic prose with painterly gesture.

In her lush and color-saturated photographs, Abby Robinson (’70) documents local portrait studios in Asia, highlighting the captivating, campy and unexpectedly seductive form of artifice. In their respective works, Debbie Grossman (’99) and Jesse Mockrin (‘03) both pull from artistic traditions and archetypes of the past to create their own envisioned realities. In her elegant photographic series My Pie Town, Grossman re-imagines the American heartland by appropriating Russell Lee’s 1940 photographs for the United States Farm Security Administration, altering them in Photoshop to create a world populated exclusively by women. Similarly, Mockrin re-interprets Edenic myths and notions of romanticism in her idyllic yet desolate landscapes inhabited by nude men.

The Gallery will be open from 10:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday.
Louise McCagg Gallery / Barnard College, New York City 10027
info [at] airgallery [dot] org

Related Links:

Julia Westerbeke and Jesse Mockrin are UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts MFA Alumni. For more about their work, please visit:

Jesse Mockrin

Julia Westerbeke