She Dances Like A Bomb, titled after a line from the Emily Dickinson poem “The Soul has Bandaged moments,” unites a remarkable circle of women sculptors who challenge the legacies of minimalism and postminimalism from multiple angles. “It has to do with the power of women that might be underestimated,” says artist and exhibition co-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 this group show with former Bard College MFA classmate Dawn Cerny, and they set about building a Bardian family tree of sorts. The exhibition’s roots extend to the early days of Bard’s MFA sculpture program, which was established in 1981 as part of Bard’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

“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.”

Featured Artists
Debra Baxter, Dawn Cerny, Taylor Davis, Beka Goedde, Julia Klein, Elisa Lendvay, Nancy Shaver, and Amanda Wojick.

She Dances Like A Bomb is on view at form & concept through January 15, 2022.

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