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Feminist Ceramics with Jen Dwyer

Jen Dwyer grew up on the West Coast, in the Bay Area, California and currently lives and works on the East Coast, between Connecticut and New York. Her playful ceramic sculptures, paintings and otherworldly installations evoke dreams, fantasy, and the desire to escape to a world of one’s own creation. Through her artwork, Dwyer creates a uniquely powerful, caring, and intimate feminine world, underscored by the artist’s study of Paleolithic talismans, the decadent Rococo aesthetic, and contemporary girlhood culture and ecofeminism. Dwyer received a BFA in Ceramics, BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in Art History from University of Washington. She finished her MFA in the Spring of 2019 from University of Notre Dame where she received a Full Fellowship in Ceramics with a Gender Studies Minor. Dwyer has partaken in many residencies and fellowships, including the Pottery Center in Jingdezhen, China; fellowship at Wassaic Projects and the Museum of Art and Design Studio Residency. Recent exhibitions include the Spring/Break Art Fair in New York City, Maxon Mills Gallery in Wassaic, the Snite Museum, at Notre Dame, a solo exhibition in Manhattan, NY at Dinner Gallery as well as recent and upcoming group exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary Gallery, Gaa Gallery and Jeff Marfa Gallery.

"The Female Gaze is an alternative way of seeing that represents everyone as a subject and acknowledges that people have their own complicated narratives. With this idea in mind Jen Dwyer constructs fanciful, porcelain vessels and sculptures that merge iconography from prehistoric imagery, (such as the Venus of Willendorf, which was thought to be a self portrait of the artist), with the Rococo Aesthetic, infused with contemporary feminist themes. Dwyer create an amalgamation of ceramic sculpture and oil paintings to examine contemporary socially constructed notions of identity by invoking the female gaze. The Female Gaze, coined by Jill Soloway, was created in response to Laura Mulvey’s theorization of “the Male Gaze,” which is when cinematic depictions of women are seen as objects of male pleasure. The Female Gaze is an alternative way of seeing; a way of looking/representing that seeks to give everyone agency and make everyone a subject. Rococo art was created in reaction to boredom with the serious baroque style, and instead opted to depict humor, wit, emotion, and whimsy. Characterized by its light-heartedness, the Rococo presents itself at a more intimate scale, often in private spaces. I aim to create other worldly Installations, filled with my ceramic sculptures, to blur the barriers between the private and public, subject and object and self and others."


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