ELIZABETH MALASKA | Venus in Fur
On view February 1 - March 10, 2013 at Portland Center Stage
Opening reception for the artist First Thursday, February 7 (6 p.m. - 9 p.m.)
Portland Center Stage & Nationale present a new series of work by Elizabeth Malaska, in conjunction with PCS’s production of Venus in Fur.
Elizabeth Malaska’s new works combine a deep and sustained interest in the history of the painted female form with the immense iconographic power that the goddess, Venus, projects within this history. Using classical representations of Venus as starting point for this series, the artist shifts the viewer’s relationship with the familiar deity. Inspired by the play that these works have been created to accompany, each Venus Malaska paints retains her original pose, but now drapes, caresses, hides, or reveals herself with the skin of an animal. As a symbol of bestiality, wilderness, and the unknowable, Malaska’s creatures, at once inanimate and familiar, make the gaze that Venus returns to the viewer slightly less civilized.
Born in Portland, OR, Elizabeth Malaska earned her MFA from the city’s Pacific Northwest College of Art after honing her practice in such diverse locations as Rome, Italy and Bar Harbor, ME. Her work has been exhibited nationally at various institutions including Portland’s Nationale, Froelick Gallery, Disjecta, and San Francisco’s California College of the Arts, where she also received her BFA. In addition to teaching painting at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, she was recently named a finalist for The Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant and the Fine Arts Work Center fellowship in Provincetown, MA.
Image: Venus Mustela (after Cranach), 2013, oil and pencil on tea-stained canvas, 42"x40”
Portland Center Stage, Gerding Theater at the Armory, 128 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR