Deborah Paauwe | National Museum of Women in Arts, Washington DC.

Deborah Paauwe’s work is presented in Revival at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on view June 23–September 10, 2017

Revival presents contemporary women sculptors and photo-based artists whose arresting aesthetics and intense subject matter spur the viewer into a transcendent encounter with the art object. Spectacle and visual enchantment undergird much contemporary art. Yet the artists gathered here harness the illimitability of scale, technique, and effect in sculpture and photography explicitly to reanimate deep-rooted emotions related to the human experience. Their imagery elicits a ripple of exhilaration, a shiver of fear, or a wave of anxiety rather than merely tantalizing the eye.

Through highly allusive depictions of human and other animal bodies, each artist in Revival connects to the unconscious. Video projections, large-scale photographs, and hanging sculptures create immersive, mesmeric environments. Smaller, meticulously wrought works made from hair, yarn, velvet, wax, marble, brambles, or taxidermied birds draw the viewer close, beckoning toward sensations that spark memory and emotion.