Ellen Harvey: Ornaments and Other Refrigerator Magnets
CMA is pleased to announce Ellen Harvey: Ornaments and Other Refrigerator Magnets, a solo exhibition in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery that brings together a selection of Harvey’s new and recent works. Ornamentation, the action of decorating, acts as a starting point for a wide-ranging exploration of the uses, abuses and relevance of the human desire to ornament.
Through her exploration of the human inclination to decorate, embellish, and adorn our surroundings, Harvey has created an immersive installation featuring large-scale works that apply ornamentation to scenes from both city life and nature. In Ornaments for the Subway, magnetic ornaments are installed over distressed subway posters. The piece was born from Harvey’s many subway rides where she absorbed advertisements plastered around the train and then imagined what the subway would be like if it was reclaimed and beautified by ornaments. Harvey also explores the relationship between ornaments and natural forms in her piece, Two Forests, where leaf motif ornaments are inserted into a painting of a forest. Similarly, her piece Two Gardens contrasts drawings of plants by children from the Children’s Museum of the Arts’ Permanent Collection with the traditionally stylized plants used in ornamental wallpaper and other decorative schemes.