Marisol: Sculptures and Works on Paper

June 14, 2014 - September 7, 2014

Exhibition Overview

Marisol: Sculptures and Works on Paper, seeks to re-introduce Marisol to critics and the public while re-establishing her as a major figure in postwar American art. She is best known for her large figural sculptures in a wide variety of materials, but also created a significant number of prints and drawings. Marisol rose to fame in the 1960s; since the 1970s, however, her work has been eclipsed by changing tastes in the art world. This exhibition brings together 34 of Marisol’s most important sculptures and works on paper and offers a comprehensive scholarly examination of Marisol’s life and career. Among the themes that are explored are the many different influences on her work; her relationship to postwar art and cultural movements (Pop, Minimalism, and feminism); her experimentation with a variety of materials; her extensive use of portraiture and images of the family; her politically charged sculptures addressing Native Americans, poverty, and the Vietnam War; and her identity as a female artist who was born in Paris of Venezuelan parents and lived most of her life in New York City.

American, (B. France, 1930)
John Wayne, 1964
Wood, pencil, oil, paint, plaster, and steel
Courtesy of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center Julianne Kemper Gilliam Purchase Fund, Debutante Ball Purchase Fund, FA 1978.5
© Marisol Escobar / Licensed by VAGA, New York

Her extensive exhibition history is mirrored by equally extensive critical attention; she was routinely written about by such critics as Dore Ashton, Lucy Lippard, and Irving Sandler. In 1962, Sandler wrote of her: “Marisol’s pieces are hilarious and caustic parodies of politics (“The Kennedys”), on society (“Mayflower,” which caricatures the Pilgrims and their descendants as well as a favorite artists’ hangout), on herself (“Self Portrait”), and above all, on art. She generally spoofs that kind of current art which is itself satiric—Neo Dada, Junk School, New Realism—a practice which requires the utmost sophistication. But Marisol carries it off with aplomb.”

American, (B. France, 1930)
Lick the Tire of My Bicycle, 1974
Colored pencil and crayon
Collection of the artist © Marisol Escobar / Licensed by VAGA, New York

Meet Marisol to learn more about the artist and her work.

Marisol Interactive Guide

Marisol: In the Press

National Sponsors:

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Henry Luce Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts

Corporate Sponsors:

Raymond James
The Jeniam Foundation

Education Sponsor:

Thomas W. Briggs Foundation

Marisol: Sculptures and Works on Paper is organized by Marina Pacini, Chief Curator at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The exhibition includes 33 sculptures, prints, and drawings ranging from 1955 to 1998 that chart her artistic development. A catalog fully illustrated in color and co-published by Yale University Press is available.