P•P•O•W | 535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
P•P•O•W is pleased to present Portia Munson's fourth exhibition at the gallery entitled Reflecting Pool. Munson continues to employ photography, sculpture and installation to form interconnected works that examine the relationship of the natural to the artificial. Munson's work is a record of this moment in time as she observes the changes to her local environment and the impact that cars, roads and buildings have on natural places and wildlife.
Upon entering the gallery the viewer is immediately immersed in Munson's world by a series of still life memento mori hanging on photographic wallpaper of oversized dandelions. Munson creates these images by scanning flowers and creatures from her garden and surrounding woods and roadsides. Formally inspired by the structure of the flowers, Munson slices into buds, pulls blossoms apart and layers them onto one another, creating mandala-like compositions that in eastern religions represent the universe. These images conjure the ephemeral nature of the botanical along with its innate utopian beauty.
While moving through the gallery one comes upon an above-ground pool containing thousands of found plastic objects in all shades of blue. This is Munson's latest installation, Reflecting Pool, which literally presents a flood of plastic. Each piece represents the millions of discarded multiples that have been rapidly accumulating and polluting our world. The color blue ironically represents clean clear water, sky and air, yet in reality these objects are trash the artist collected from roadsides, streams and landfills. Reflecting Pool, as in Munson's earlier installations, Pink Project, The Garden and Lawn, is a meditation on how mass consumption defines society and its effects; a reminder of how rapidly plastic objects are produced, consumed and discarded to then spend the majority of their synthetic existence as waste, leaving nature to wage the long-fought battle of decomposition in landfills and ocean gyres.
Portia Munson was born in Beverly, MA in 1961 and currently lives and works in Catskill, NY. She holds a BFA from Cooper Union and a MFA from Rutgers University. She has also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally in such venues as The New Museum, New York, NY; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland. Her work has been reviewed and written about in many publications including The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, Art in America, Newsweek, USA Today, The New Yorker, Flash Art and Artforum. Munson has recently completed a MTA, Arts for Transit Public Art installation at the Fort Hamilton Parkway Station in Brooklyn, NY. In April, P.P.O.W will be showing a selection of Munson's work at the AIPAD photography fair in New York City. A limited edition silk scarf will be produced in conjunction with this exhibition.