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September 8-11, 2022   Javits Center

Cammie Staros

Come to Pass

2021

Curator's Statement

Cammie Staros's fascination with artworks from the Greco-Roman period lies in how those objects have come to represent Western art and civilization. Presented by Shulamit Nazarian (Los Angeles), Come to Pass (2021) is a totemic sculpture comprised of stacked, hand-built vessels that marry ancient ceramic techniques with modern industrial materials. It is exemplary of the artist’s turn to antique vessels as carriers of mythologies of gender, desire, and violence constitutive for the Western imagination in order to reflect on the constructed condition of histories and societies.

About the Artist

Looking specifically to the shapely vessels of Classical Greece, Cammie Staros’ hand-built objects marry ancient ceramic techniques with modern industrial materials such as milled and turned woods and machined metals. The resulting sculptures are rooted in history, yet disarmingly present. Staros often mines images and artifacts from the Greco-Roman period that aestheticizes eroticism, violence, and victory. The artist anthropomorphizes her sculptures through references to armor and dress—often a gendered divide—as traditionally depicted on Greek figure vases.

Staros’ fascination with classical antiquities lies both in the objects themselves, and with how those objects have come to represent an origin story of Western art history. Her works remind us that historical narratives are told through visual languages as much as written ones. Staros contributes her own symbology to a constellation of references from far-flung regions and eras and entices her audiences to reexamine the role of historical objects. Through her ceramic sculptures, the artist considers the representation of desire, violence, gender codes, and institutional tropes of display, all embedded in the materials and images of antiquity.