An exhibition of work by Maggie Meiners from Winnetka, IL is now in our Hansen Galleries and on display through November 22nd.
Reception and Artist’s Talk on Thursday, November 10 @ 4:15pm
This series began as self-portraits that examined the many roles I play, both assigned and elective. As I continued to examine my personal roles, I began to observe the role of others as they interact with each other. I chose not to focus on their interpersonal interactions, but rather their relationship with themselves and how they present themselves to one another. Hence, the reason their identity is not revealed in its entirety. The works detach from the traditional notion of portrait in two ways. The square format allows each work to occupy a space separate from landscape or portrait, just as one’s own experience; environment and appearance map our identity. In addition, the exclusion of the face removes individual identity suggesting that while I possess unique particulars, the role of the any individual is multi-tiered and complex.
Every individual has aspects of their life that they would prefer to deny or disguise. Here, each vignette is unapologetically filled with the accoutrements of my day-to-day life. Cindy Sherman and her commentary on the representations of women in society have certainly influenced me. Yet these works remain personal observations commenting on my own experience, while nodding toward the multiplicities that comprise the totality of every contemporary woman.
My previous work has, even at its most abstract, dealt with specific places, experiences and forms. I am largely self-taught, and as my practice developed, I believe that I had to gain a better understanding of my self. I am an individual, and I am also a wife, mother, consumer, athlete, daughter, sister, and cook, to name a few. Yet, as an artist in an unexpected socio-economic construct I am often a novelty. Looking clearly and unapologetically at these various roles has afforded me a larger view of the human condition; and an awareness of the self we expose and the self we keep private.