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August 2005


August 2 - 27, 2005
Reception: Friday, August 5th; 7 - 10pm
"Cross Purposes"
appropriated image collage, 6'9" x 15'2", 2004

Anne Kesler Shields

Artworks Gallery is presenting "Ambiguities", an installation by Anne Kesler Shields from August 5 - 25. Three themes are represented through collages with photographs from contemporary media combined with art historical works: "For the Flag", "Towers: 9/11 to Abu Ghraib", and "Search for the True Cross".

"For the Flag" incorporates tales of self-sacrificing patriotism and myth. In one of the pieces, "The Birth of the Flag", the American flag becomes something mythic, born like the Greek goddess Venus rather than sewn from cloth. In the comtemporary images the flag covers coffins and is burned in the streets. Other images include soldiers in combat, national figures and comic superheroes.

"Towers: 9/11 to Abu Ghraib" uses art historical references that center on the notion of the judgement of God. For example, Brueghel's "Tower of Babel" illustrates the great tower built by man that reached upwards to heaven. God destroyed the tower taking it as a sign of man's arrogance. Shields also includes Allah, represented symbolically through the words of the Prophet Muhammad. On the other hand, Goya's etching "Heroic Feat! Against the Dead!" from the "Disasters of War" series, offers a more secular message, reflecting back on the role of the artist as social or political commentator.

"Search for the True Cross" reproduces details from two art historical works, Piero della Francesca's painting, " Constantine's Victory over axentius," and a "zillij" pattern(geometric glazed tile patterns)from the Attarine Madrasa, a 14th century Islamic school in Fez, Morocco. These themes are further explored by the interspersed photographs of political leaders, fashion models, cross-like forms and the columnar list of names representing U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

A quote from the artist, Anne Shields: "Contemporary advertising speaks volumes about our society. I use appropriated images and modern reproduction technology to exaggerate the silliness, humor, pathos, and/or irony of these images. To make sense of the visual clutter with which the world bombards us, I often combine these with images from art history. In the process, I discover that human nature changes little over the ages. My recent work deals with the feelings evoked by the events of September 11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. On the night of 9/11, I dreamed of the skyline of New York. The Twin Towers were replaced with two Islamic prayer towers. Soon afterwards I began making collages using images of the attack and its aftermath. I hope to convey the emptiness we feel and to help us look more critically at our own society."

Receptions are the First Friday evening of every month with the W-S Arts District "Gallery Hop".

Artworks Gallery, Inc.
In the Center of the Arts District, Winston-Salem, NC
564 North Trade Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:00 - 5:00; Saturday 10:00 - 4:00; Closed Sunday and Monday

Public Relations: Alix Hitchcock

©2005 Artworks Gallery and (photogrpaphy)