MAY 16 – JULY 18, 2018 Gage & Christensen Galleries STILL. HERE.

MAY 16 – JULY 18, 2018
Gage & Christensen Galleries
Augsburg University
2211 Riverside Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Luchetti in the Gage Gallery and Kendrick in the Christensen Gallery in an exhibition titled Still. Here. Barbara Kendrick tackles aging and Monique Luchetti takes on death, both reckoning with mortality.

Kendrick plasters her own image onto a pantheon of historic statuary plucked from the halls of museums, confronting our culture’s aversion to seeing the wrinkled truths of aging.  Luchetti resurrects anonymous dead birds she finds in ornithology collections, draws portraits of them, in the hope of redemption.

Gage Gallery Artist Monique Luchetti. 

Over the past few years Luchetti has researched ornithology collections, looking through hundreds of drawers of bird study-skins. The collections remind her of a library’s deep storage, long forgotten cemeteries, and ancient archeological sites. The kind of places humans cherish for the clues offered to us about our own species.

For Luchetti, these silent places bear witness to past lives now forgotten, like the lost voices from a first-century Greek marketplace buried under the twelfth-century Basilica of San Lorenzo in Naples. Voices that were once heard in the excavated whorehouse in Pompeii, or in the Mithras temple found 6 stories beneath the Church of St. Clemente in Rome.

Ornithology collections are as these ancient places are. Drawers filled with study-skins that were once living birds, with song, and flight – and souls. Now they are remains, cataloged, anonymous, an identity tag tied to a leg specifying their species, date of death and perhaps the name of their cataloger. The study-skins in this work embody Luchetti's personal sense of loss and of hope.

The focal point of this exhibition is a large drawing, Forget-Me-Not, Version II. The artwork is 7 feet high and 17 feet long and composed of 27 assembled sheets of paper. The drawing represents bird species that are endangered or threatened with extinction in the United States. The research for this drawing was done at the Yale University Peabody Museum. The other drawings in the exhibition are studies done from the collection at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Australia.
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