NYC Parks Presents Cara Lynch's HOUSE WORK at Poe Park Visitor Center Through 10/5
NYC Parks has announced the exhibition House Work, a series of prints and installations by Cara Lynch on view at the Poe Park Visitor Center through October 5, 2013. Inspired by historic homes, including those in the Bronx, this show is a window into the world of intricate patterns from past centuries and goes beyond simple ornamentation.
"Parks has championed the arts since 1967 and we're thrilled to exhibit Cara Lynch's work at the Poe Park Visitor Center," says NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. "Cara joins a distinguished list of emerging artists who have exhibited at the center and her artwork is a wonderful tribute to our beloved New York City historic houses."
Cara Lynch references pattern and textile designs in order to contemplate memory and identity in relation to material culture. Lynch shares a concern and interest in feminine identity and the home, much like the domestic craft work created by 18th and 19th century housewives, which is at the heart of her artworks. Of the 23 historic homes owned by NYC Parks, four are located in the Bronx, one being Poe Cottage located just feet from the Visitor Center. Pelham Bay Park's Bartow Pell Mansion, unlike Poe's modest cottage, is a three-story Greek revival mansion built between 1836 and 1842 that is flush with ornate wallpapers, curtains and textiles. The print, I Hope You Love Birds, Too, directly references the bedding in a room in the mansion called, "The Girls Chamber."
Her intensely hand-worked woodcuts measure nearly 4' in length and clearly illustrate Lynch's belief in the purification of self through meditative labor-quietly expressing frustration, instability and obsession through intricate or repeating patterns. Her texturally rich prints achieve an aged patina with the use of rusted iron flock, which creates an illusion of vintage floral tablecloth or window treatments. The screenprint Van Cortlandt's Bread and Butter directly references the incredible delftware in the house's collection (the oldest house in the Bronx), but Lynch reinterprets the design with layers of screenprinting and hand coloring.
Three of Lynch's installations are also on view at the Poe Park Visitor Center. In addition to a wallpaper and a window work, she created an exhibit of crafted plates made from patterned paper used to wrap bouquets at New York City's ubiquitous corner bodega flower shops. The collection of ten emulates Delft ceramics made popular in the Netherlands in the 1600 - 1700s, but whose replications have become common in the homes of collectors and tourists.