Artists Debra Baxter and Dawn Cerny curate this national group show of sculptors who are linked to Bard College’s legendary MFA program. She Dances Like A Bomb unites a remarkable circle of women sculptors who challenge the legacies of minimalism and postminimalism from many angles.
She Dances Like A Bomb, titled after a line from the Emily Dickinson poem “The Soul has Bandaged moments,” highlights the vitality of creative community. “It has to do with the power of women that might be underestimated,” says artist and curator Debra Baxter. “I see it as an explosive way of telling the truth. For years, my work has been about the female voice. It historically makes people uncomfortable when women emote, but we are powerful and there is sacredness in our truth.” Baxter conceived of She Dances Like A Bomb with former Bard College MFA classmate Dawn Cerny, and they set about building a Bardian family tree of sorts.
“Several generations of Bard sculpture professors and students appear in this show,” says Gallery Director Jordan Eddy. “It’s a constellation of objects interlinked by bright lines of inspiration.” At the center of this artistic legacy is Nancy Shaver, who has taught in Bard’s MFA sculpture program for over 20 years and contributes two sculptures to the exhibition. Her work in the show, which incorporates available or “unworthy” materials such as painted cardboard, paper and wooden blocks, exemplifies a shared ethos among the artists. “In the spirit of postminimalism—and in opposition to minimalism—these artists are scavengers and inventors,” says Eddy. “But that’s just one springboard for their contemporary experiments.”
Debra Baxter, Dawn Cerny, Taylor Davis, Beka Goedde, Julia Klein, Elisa Lendvay, Nancy Shaver, Amanda Wojick