Wunderkammer, the female gaze objectified, 1994

10th March - 16th April

Leeds City Art Galleries


Studiolo
wax, found objects, plaster

Wunderkammer. A chamber of Wonders to delight the eyes and challenge the mind....
The concept of the Cabinet of Curiosities as a forerunner of the contemporary Art Gallery & Museum is central to this exhibition. Creating a dialogue around that which is saved and displayed in our own museum culture Sheila Gaffney and Linda Schwab ‘intervene’ with the Gallery’s permanent collection.
Both artists reverentially plunder art history and tradition, replacing the male gaze at the body with female insight. The focus of this intervention is the Hope Venus, an important late work by the nineteenth century Italian sculptor Antonio Canova whose Three Graces was the subject of the recent V & A campaign to prevent its export.
Sheila Gaffney will site within the Models Room (which houses Leeds City Art Galleries collection of sculpture models and maquettes), three constructed sculptures in bubblegum pink wax. The secrets of this concealed and coveted archive will be revealed to the visitor alongside the contemporary, wilful fruit of its tradition. Linda Schwab will enclose Canova’s Venus with a bevy of dressed chairs which invite and entice the viewer to become voyeur. The statue’s gaze is directed at the artist’s own image of Venus, which jostles for attention on the painting encrusted walls of the Victorian gallery.


Wunderkammer Essays
Wunderkammer reviews
Download a pdf of List of works in the Studiolo
Photography: © Jerry Hardman - Jones

39_wkamposter1.jpg
       
39_wk3.jpg
       
39_wk6a.jpg
       
39_3.jpg
 Pussy Pelmet   Sheila Gaffney 
39_2.jpg
       
39_wk2.jpg
       
39_wk5.jpg
 Jacob Epstein 1880-1959   Hand 
39_wk1.jpg
 Jocelyn Horner (foreground)1971-2   Hands of Sir John Barbirolli 
39_1.jpg
 Alfred Gilbert (foreground) c.1908   Model for Chimneypiece, plaster 
39_alec.jpg
 Cavea, Linda Schwab, incorporating    'Hope Venus' & Ziff Gallery  
39_can1.jpg
 Hope Venus   Antonio Canova 
39_c3.jpg
 Hope Venus   Antonio Canova 
39_c4.jpg
 Hope Venus   Antonio Canova 
39_can2.jpg
 Hope Venus   Antonio Canova