Nancy Bowen exhibit to open Feb. 6 at DPU's Peeler gallery

Monday, January 30, 2012
Mask mixed media, paper and shells is a 2011 Nancy Bowen creation.

DePauw University's Richard E. Peeler Art Center will present "Nancy Bowen: Begettings," an exhibition opening Monday, Feb. 6 and remaining on view through Friday, March 23.

The artist will be on campus for a talk and reception 4-6 p.m. Monday, March 5. Both the exhibition and program are free and open to all.

Bowen utilizes imagery from Farmer's Almanacs, published between 1800 and 1867 (all from the collection of her father, an amateur historian and genealogist), in recent works on paper and in site-specific drawings. In these drawings, she collages imagery and text from the publications with rubbings of early American tombstones and linear patterns suggestive of Eastern origins.

In Blue Angel, she begins with a constructed ground of colorful almanac entries and builds layers, including a voluptuous blue grave rubbing and a circular maze pattern stitched with black thread and marked by colorful dots at each intersection.

Bowen's sculptural pieces incorporate cast and blown glass elements into clay, steel and mixed media constructions. In Plots, the interlocked white plaster forms are draped by a delicate web of beadwork and further combined with porcelain towers.

In an essay written for the exhibition, critic Nancy Princenthal writes, "These sculptures brim with implicit, but not quite decipherable, spiritual power. In other words, they urge the questions raised by the works on paper: what recommends itself as auspicious? What compels belief? What serves in our negotiations with fate?"

Bowen has had solo exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the Lesley Heller Gallery, Annina Nosei Gallery in NYC, Galerie Farideh Cadot in Paris, the Betsy Rosenfield gallery in Chicago, and the James Gallery in Houston.

Her work has won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the European Ceramic Work Center.

Bowen, who received a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.F.A. from Hunter College (CUNY), is currently an associate professor at Purchase College, State University of New York.

Galleries at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center, 10 W. Hanna St., are open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday 1-5 p.m., and are closed during university breaks and holidays.

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