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Patricia Cronin: The Domain of Perfect Affection

Mar 26 - May 22 2004

A witty manipulator of Victorian tradition, Cronin uses equestrian and mortuary sculpture as well as animalier and erotic painting to investigate sexuality, gender, age, and class with regard to issues of status and desire. The exhibition focuses on a group of works from the most recent ten years of the artist’s career.

Cronin’s erotic watercolors from the early 1990s invite the viewer to witness intimate moments between herself and her partner. Her larger than life-size, three ton Carrara marble mortuary marker, Memorial to a Marriage (2002), uses classical sculpture styles to depict a lesbian embrace, thus subverting common perceptions of wealth, marriage, and status. Since Memorial to a Marriage is permanently installed at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, the exhibition will include a 2/3 scale plaster maquette, two miniature bronzes, and digital prints, as well as a mural photograph of the sculpture in situ.

Cronin’s motivation “to use equine imagery as a metaphoric means to address concerns of female autonomy, desire, power and class,” is evident in works such as Pony Tales (1996), Tack Room (1997-98) and The Domain of Perfect Affection (1999/2003), which are also featured in the exhibition.

Cronin received her B.F.A. from Rhode Island College in 1986 and her M.F.A., in 1988, from Brooklyn College, where she currently is the deputy chair of the Graduate Art Program. Recent solo exhibitions were mounted at Grand Arts, Kansas City (2002); The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1999); White Columns, New York (1998); and Brent Sikkema, New York (1997). A distinguished artist, she has received several awards including two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants and the prestigious invitational Grand Arts Award.

Curated by Sandra Q. Firmin

Catalog available with essays by Robert Rosenblum and Firmin

Lecture by Robert Rosenblum is sponsored in part by the UB Department of Art History. The catalog is made possible through the generous support of A.B. Rosen and Debi Sonzogni, Sara Vance and Michelle Waddel, the UB Department of Women’s Studies, the Institute for Research & Education on Women and Gender, and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Alliance.

The exhibition is sponsored in part by Leader All Surface Printing.