More than a dozen sculptures in wood, paint and ceramic will be featured in Rough Matter, a solo exhibition by Associate Professor of Art Rebecca Murtaugh, at Stout Projects in Brooklyn, N.Y. An opening reception will take place on Friday, March 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the gallery, located at 56 Bogart Street. The show runs through April 16.

Esteemed art critic and writer, Lilly Wei wrote the catalog essay, “See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me.”

An excerpt from Wei’s essay: “Running my eyes over Rebecca Murtaugh’s recent sculptures, I was tempted to run my fingertips over them as well although it’s not something I would advise viewers to do. But I was curious; I wanted to corroborate the optical by means of the tactile, to determine whether or not those color saturated surfaces were hard or yielding, their texture grainy and coarse or nubby, soft. I wanted to read them again through touch, tracing the artist’s hand, following its progress, its imprint. 

“I didn’t touch them. But in an age of mechanical and digital production and reproduction, we have become more and more fascinated by the authority, singularity, and authenticity of the hand-made, increasingly a rarity, increasingly radical. Murtaugh is an advocate for objects made by hand, a process critical to her practice, considering it historically, conceptually, and formally. Making to her is synonymous with making by hand, challenging dominant modes of contemporary artistic production. But perhaps she is motivated even more by the primal pleasures that it provides, a mind/body gratification that is lacking in the moving of a mouse and clicking.”

A free color catalog is available by contacting the artist at rmurtaug@hamilton.edu. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

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