Betsy Stirratt: La Maladie
Patricia Biesen: Paper Doll Mastectomies
Concurrent exhibitions of oil and gold leaf paintings by Betsy Stirratt and acrylic works by Patricia Biesen will be on display at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago from November 8 - October 25, 2002. A reception for the artists that is open and free to the public will take place on Friday, November 8, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
These two contemporary artists produce striking works that honor
human mortality and the fragility of the body against disease.
In her exhibition titled “La Maladie,” Betsy Stirratt creates precious-looking icons using detailed imagery of body parts placed on gold leaf backdrops. Reminiscent of historic medical texts, the images are beset with diseases, or uncover the mysteries of the inner workings of the human body. The artist states that the work “is a statement about our physical and spiritual mortality and refers to our revulsion to illness, death and dying.”
Ms. Stirratt, a resident of Bloomington, Indiana, has received several arts awards including the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and has exhibited in both Chicago and Indiana on an on-going basis.
Patricia Biesen’s “Paper Doll Mastectomies” also relate to physical disease and loss, specifically to breast cancer. The shape of Biesen’s work calls to mind needlepoint pictures or old-fashioned silhouette portraits; while the paper doll cut-out look of the images convey a striking and immediate recognition of the so easily removed diseased breast. Much of the artist’s work indicates what’s missing in a way that seems both innocent and disturbing.
A resident of Chicago, Ms. Biesen has exhibited throughout the U.S.