Sculpture

Caitlin McCormack Investigates the Warping of Memory in Her New Show

Oct 27, 2017 - Dec 09, 2017Paradigm Gallery and Studio, Philadelphia

Paradigm Gallery + Studio is currently showing Lazarus Taxa, an exhibition of new works by Caitlin McCormack. Lazarus Taxa will present over 50 fiber sculptures, marking a continuation of the artist’s ongoing investigation of the warping of memory over time through the continuous breakdown of physical matter.

Trained in illustration, McCormack creates sculptures utilizing garments and discarded objects that she views as extensions of human identity. This series takes a more perverse, grotesque turn for the artist, incorporating materials with a more sinewy and oily texture. Chaining together disintegrated cloth and textile materials coated in enamel paint, she creates abstract sculptural works that occasionally reference the human form.

The exhibition title derives from the paleontological concept of lazarus taxa, a term which describes species that disappear and reappear from the fossil record. In this body of work, McCormack explores how repressed memories come back as monstrous and warped versions of original events. The series suggests the monstrosity produced when one attempts to forget, and the festering of trauma that eventually returns. These works recall the fiber sculptures of artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, Sheila Pepe; as well as the taxonomic illustrations of Leonard Baskin and Hyman Bloom.