The Divine Female: The Ancient and Contemporary Woman featuring works by sculptor Claire McArdle

Mar 26 - Apr 28, 2019

The Divine Female: The Ancient and Contemporary Woman featuring works by sculptor Claire McArdle

Artist’s Proof is pleased to announce the exhibition The Divine Female: The Ancient and Contemporary Woman,  featuring works by sculptor Claire McArdle. Exploring the historical significance of the feminine archetypes within the visual arts, McArdle highlights the cross-cultural similarities that abound in the archetypes of women in ancient mythology to the contemporary woman. A curated selection of Claire McArdle's sculptures will be on view this Spring. 

The work of Claire McArdle (American, b. 1959) is at once both timeless and contemporary. One of the few female sculptors in this male-dominated field that hand carves marble on a monumental scale; her interest in art and mythology began as a child. Her father, who was a production manager for The Washington Post in the 1970s, nurtured her early interests. Reflecting on the times when he would take her to work, she reminisced on how she would explore the Art Department of The Post, playing and scribbling at the drafting tables where artists completed daily layout designs for the paper. Those now cherished moments sparked something inside of McArdle, who would go on to receive a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. McArdle’s work is an extension of her constant revisiting of these memories, myths, and mysteries, as she bridges the relationship between the ancient and our modern existence.

Sculpted in marble, travertine, and bronze, McArdle’s female torsos synthesize elements of archaic Greek sculpture with aesthetic qualities found in prehistoric art and the modern European masters. Made unique by her hand, her latest series uses the technique of gold leaf to alter and embellish the female form. Caterina, named after the Martyr Saint of Siena where the travertine is quarried, had traces of natural imperfections around the bust. Rather than discarding the sculpture, McArdle enhanced her with a golden bodice drawing a connection to the Amazons presented within Greek Mythology.  “As the figure emerges from the materials, there is a representation of the feminine archetype and sensuousness both females and marble share,” McArdle explains. By enhancing the natural imperfections of the stone, she transforms the piece finding new strength in its beauty.  Embracing the physicality of carving, through the chiseling and the subjective method of taking away, she creates harmony between the ethereal form and the organic material. This harmony evokes feelings of strength and fragility while presenting an aura that transcends time. 

Isadore Duncan, the first modern dancer, celebrated the power of the feminine spirit, heightened within her dances by the connection between the passions of nature and nurturing. Her notion of the Divine Feminine and the sacred reference for the female body in all her archetypes was represented and blessed. Isadore Duncan believed, "[The Dancer] will help womankind to a new knowledge of the possible strength and beauty of their bodies and the relation of their bodies to the earth nature and the children of the future." These qualities found within Duncan style of dance correlate to the intention of each of Claire McArdle's female forms. Exploring the experiences of human emotion and our deep connection to the past, both of these artists’ practices connect the ancient to the contemporary woman. 

Claire McArdle is an internationally recognized sculptor. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, McArdle moved to Carrara, Italy in 1988 to study with the master carvers and learned centuries-old production techniques. She maintains a studio in Colorado, and Carrara, Italy where she sources the marble and various stones used in her sculptures. 

 
The Divine Female: The Ancient and Contemporary Woman featuring works by sculptor Claire McArdle
Artist’s Proof is pleased to announce the exhibition The Divine Female: The Ancient and Contemporary Woman, featuring works by sculptor Claire McArdle. Exploring the historical significance of the feminine archetypes within the visual arts, McArdle highlights the cross-cultural similarities that abound in the archetypes of women in ancient mythology to the contemporary woman. A curated selection of Claire McArdle's sculptures will be on view this Spring. The work of Claire McArdle (American, b. 1959) is at once both timeless and contemporary. One of the few female sculptors in this male-dominated field that hand carves marble on a monumental scale; her interest in art and mythology began as a child. Her father, who was a production manager for The Washington Post in the 1970s, nurtured her early interests. Reflecting on the times when he would take her to work, she reminisced on how she would explore the Art Department of The Post, playing and scribbling at the drafting tables where artists completed daily layout designs for the paper. Those now cherished moments sparked something inside of McArdle, who would go on to receive a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. McArdle’s work is an extension of her constant revisiting of these memories, myths, and mysteries, as she bridges the relationship between the ancient and our modern existence. Sculpted in marble, travertine, and bronze, McArdle’s female torsos synthesize elements of archaic Greek sculpture with aesthetic qualities found in prehistoric art and the modern European masters. Made unique by her hand, her latest series uses the technique of gold leaf to alter and embellish the female form. Caterina, named after the Martyr Saint of Siena where the travertine is quarried, had traces of natural imperfections around the bust. Rather than discarding the sculpture, McArdle enhanced her with a golden bodice drawing a connection to the Amazons presented within Greek Mythology. “As the figure emerges from the materials, there is a representation of the feminine archetype and sensuousness both females and marble share,” McArdle explains. By enhancing the natural imperfections of the stone, she transforms the piece finding new strength in its beauty. Embracing the physicality of carving, through the chiseling and the subjective method of taking away, she creates harmony between the ethereal form and the organic material. This harmony evokes feelings of strength and fragility while presenting an aura that transcends time. Isadore Duncan, the first modern dancer, celebrated the power of the feminine spirit, heightened within her dances by the connection between the passions of nature and nurturing. Her notion of the Divine Feminine and the sacred reference for the female body in all her archetypes was represented and blessed. Isadore Duncan believed, "[The Dancer] will help womankind to a new knowledge of the possible strength and beauty of their bodies and the relation of their bodies to the earth nature and the children of the future." These qualities found within Duncan style of dance correlate to the intention of each of Claire McArdle's female forms. Exploring the experiences of human emotion and our deep connection to the past, both of these artists’ practices connect the ancient to the contemporary woman. Claire McArdle is an internationally recognized sculptor. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, McArdle moved to Carrara, Italy in 1988 to study with the master carvers and learned centuries-old production techniques. She maintains a studio in Colorado, and Carrara, Italy where she sources the marble and various stones used in her sculptures.
https://cdn.artcld.com/img/w_400,h_400,c_fit/v4u33ea0u2uljayh7eni.jpg
Artist's Proof
Washington
District of Columbia
2019-03-26T00:00:00.0000000+00:00
2019-04-28T00:00:00.0000000+00:00
Torso 14-9
Claire McArdle

Torso 14-9

Terra Cotta on Travertine Base

24 x 7 x 7 in

Torso Mystic
Claire McArdle

Torso Mystic

Bronze with Black Marble Base

24 x 6 x 6 in

Taking Wing , 2016
Claire McArdle

Taking Wing , 2016

Italian Calacatta Marble with 24k Gold Leaf

40 x 26 x 20 in

Torso 18-1, 2018
Claire McArdle

Torso 18-1, 2018

26 x 7 x 7 in

Sea to Earth No. 2, 2016
Claire McArdle

Sea to Earth No. 2, 2016

Terra Cotta and Terra Sigillata

26 x 7 x 6 in

Queen of d'Nile, 2012
Claire McArdle

Queen of d'Nile, 2012

Brazilian Soapstone

20 x 9 x 8 in

Torso 14-1
Claire McArdle

Torso 14-1

Terra Cotta,Terra Sigillata

11 x 5 x 5 in

Small Marble Torso, 2016
Claire McArdle

Small Marble Torso, 2016

Italian Statuario Marble with Black Marble Base

12 x 6 x 6 in

Nipote #7, 2018
Claire McArdle

Nipote #7, 2018

Bronze with Black Marble Base

8 x 3 x 3 in

Torso 18-4 , 2018
Claire McArdle

Torso 18-4 , 2018

Terra Cotta and Terra Sigillata on Travertine Base

26 x 7 x 7 in

Torso Ella , 2018
Claire McArdle

Torso Ella , 2018

Bronze with Black Marble Base

25 x 7 x 7 in

Viviane Grande , 2011
Claire McArdle

Viviane Grande , 2011

Italian Bardiglio Marble

62 x 14 x 14 in

Torso Bianco, 2016
Claire McArdle

Torso Bianco, 2016

Italian Marble

43 x 10 x 10 in

Torso Ambrosia, 2017
Claire McArdle

Torso Ambrosia, 2017

Carrara Marble with Gold Leaf on Bardiglio Base

76 x 20 x 20 in

Nipote #8, 2018
Claire McArdle

Nipote #8, 2018

Bronze with Black Marble Base

9 x 3 x 3 in

Figure 17-17, 2017
Claire McArdle

Figure 17-17, 2017

Terra Cotta and Terra Sigillata

27 x 7 x 6 in

Sappho, 2009
Claire McArdle

Sappho, 2009

Bronze with Base

26 x 6 x 6 in

Allí d'Oro , 2017
Claire McArdle

Allí d'Oro , 2017

Italian Calacatta Marble w 24k Gold Leaf

31 x 14 x 16 in

Angel Spirit Rising, 2009
Claire McArdle

Angel Spirit Rising, 2009

Italian Ordinario Marble

34 x 7 x 7 in

Nipote (niece), 2017
Claire McArdle

Nipote (niece), 2017

Italian Bardiglio Marble with Gold and Silver Leaf

47 x 16 x 16 in

Nipote #6, 2018
Claire McArdle

Nipote #6, 2018

Bronze with Black Marble Base

7 x 3 x 3 in

Figure 17-18, 2017
Claire McArdle

Figure 17-18, 2017

Terra Cotta and Terra Sigillata

27 x 7 x 6 in

Maria , 2009
Claire McArdle

Maria , 2009

Italian Statuario Marble

25 x 14 x 8 in

Torso Primavera , 2011
Claire McArdle

Torso Primavera , 2011

Italian Calacatta Marble

55 x 20 x 20 in

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