June Kelly Gallery

Claudia DeMonte
Memory Keepers
Sculpture and Installations

Our Lady of Good Fortune, 2000 - Mixed media, enamel and wood - 28 x 10 x 10 inches

Exotic Illusions, 2016
Acrylic and mixed media on wood
30 x 12 x 10 inches

 Memory Keepers, a provocative exhibition of sculpture and installations by Claudia DeMonte that reflect her vision of women as custodians of culture around the world, will open at the June Kelly Gallery on April 21.  The exhibition will remain on view through May 21.

DeMonte “has always found fertile soil in the questions of women’s identity,” said Tom Sokolowski, former director of the Andy Warhol Museum.  “Her work is not heavy handed or tritely tendentious, but rather has been infused by a nimble touch, coupled with a wonderful gentle sense of irony.”

Art writer Eleanor Heartney has said that DeMonte’s travels “had made her increasingly aware of the way that objects act as surrogates for important issues in our lives.”  Her curiosity about the roles of women in their respective societies has taken her to more than 177 countries.

DeMonte forcefully addresses her chosen themes about women employing a wide array of media and found material that bears witness to their lives, to the stories they tell, and the cultural legacy they give us.  These memories of past experiences recall facts, experiences, impressions, skills and habits and carry them forward as a legacy to coming generations.

In this exhibition, DeMonte focuses on two variations of her primary theme. Presented on pedestals are archetypical forms of the female, sculpted from wood brightly painted and affixed with objects that independently speak of their importance to the group.  A wall installation of 18 teddy bears clad in fabric from around the world and a wall of 40 outstretched hands reflect caring and nurturing by women.

“Feminist and funny, her sculptures and installations demonstrate that challenges to the patriarchy, redefinitions of the canon and the dethroning of high art don’t have to be ponderous matters,” Heartney writes.  “Her work proves that charm and insouciance can go a long way in the battle to get people to think.”

DeMonte lives and works in New York City and Kent, Connecticut.  She received a bachelor's degree from College of Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore and an MFA from Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

DeMonte's work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and throughout the world.  The many public and private collections in which she is represented include the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Bass Museum, Miami, FL; New Orleans Museum of Art, LA; Indianapolis Museum of Art; University of Maryland, College Park; Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA; Portland Museum of Art, ME; Contemporary Art Museum, Villa Rufolo, Ravello, Italy; Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Poland; University of Oldenburg, Germany, and the Hvidore Art Library, Denmark.


Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Quo Vadis - 2016

Sei Mani - 2016

Aiutame - 1997-2015

Claudia DeMonte Bio

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