-- First New York One-Woman Show for Trailblazing Founder
of San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art --
GERTRUD PARKER: WATERCOLORS AND PRINTS
Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Queens College
405 Klapper Hall
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11367
September 8 – 27, 2015
Opening reception, Tuesday, September 8, 6 pm, at the museum
FLUSHING, NY, August 21, 2015 — The Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College will present for the first time in New York the work of Bay Area artist and sculptor Gertrud Parker, whose significance and visibility have grown since the early years of her career in San Francisco. Born in Vienna, this active nonagenarian and accomplished artist has defied many of the conventions and expectations for women of her generation.
Best known for her sculptures of dyed “gutskin,” a paradoxically sheer, diaphanous material stretched over welded frames, Parker first studied with legendary figures of the fiber art movement like Lillian Elliot, Pat Hickman, Yoshika Wada, Kate Sekimachi and others. This was at its height in the early 1970s, when Bay Area artists were merging traditional craft and scholarship with art. Parker went on to establish the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art, which she directed for seven years. But her talents also extend into the realms of painting, printmaking, mixed media, and installation art.
This exhibition, organized to honor Parker's lifetime achievements, displays Parker's watercolors and prints for the first time in a one-woman show. A few early works will be included among her recent pieces, demonstrating a consistency of theme and focus over nearly 40 years of artistic practice. Parker’s work has always struck a delicate balance between whimsy and gravity, reflecting a depth of feeling and character that sets her apart from other sculptors. This seriousness may relate to her haunting experience as an 11-year-old escaping the Nazi occupation of Vienna with her family via Switzerland, then Paris, until finally finding refuge in America.
Now, in this phase of her career, Parker has turned to producing watercolors and prints, revealing a gift for expression in various media that is the mark of the true artist. Museum director and exhibition curator Amy Winter says, “The lightness of touch, juxtaposed with an equal dose of what one writer has characterized as ‘insightful explorations of the darker themes of human existence,’ is complemented here by a sureness of hand. In the watercolors it is as if her palette has extracted the translucent light and color of the sculptural works and transposed it to paper.”
An opening reception and a conversation with the artist and Amy Winter will take place on September 8. A full-color catalogue of the exhibition with essays about the artist will be available at the museum and on-line. For further information call (718) 997-4747 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE GODWIN-TERNBACH MUSEUM
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum, a part of Queens College’s Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, presents contemporary and historical exhibitions and programs that provide exciting educational opportunities and aesthetic experiences to residents of the borough of Queens and neighboring Manhattan and Long Island. As the only collection of art and artifacts in the borough, housing over 6,000 objects that date from ancient to modern times, the museum provides many individuals with a first-time museum experience, and introduces them to art and culture they might never otherwise encounter. Lectures, symposia, gallery talks, workshops, films, concerts, and tours as well as digital displays, catalogues, and an active website, complement and interpret the art on view, to serve the needs and interests of local communities. All exhibitions and programs are free. www.gtmuseum.org