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Women and Architectural Objects
Women and Architectural Objects
An artist statement, Linda Soberman

When I begin a new body of work, I dive right in, not necessarily knowing where it is headed or if it will be successful. This time, however, I knew immediately. My first prints paired images of women with photographic details of seminal architect Antoni Gaudi's drawings. Something about the line, the structure and the fluidity of his work inspired and energized me — and so my series Women and Architectural Objects began.

Hand in hand with my work is my love of historical research. Looking for articles about women architects, I quickly became frustrated by the lack of information published. I asked friends if they could name celebrated women architects; most could only recall a few, if any.

Through my research I found that historically, within the patriarchal world of architecture (as well as other fields), women had been hidden or edited from history and not acknowledged for their significant contributions. In fact, it was not until the 1970s that forgotten female architects, such as Eileen Gray, Lilly Reich and Julia Morgan, were finally acknowledged for their creative work. (Wikipedia currently lists the number of notable women architects worldwide at 630. The list is incomplete.)

My ideas continued to develop. A work of architecture begins with an idea that links concept, form, light and space. Historically, many architects have practiced the use of “paper architecture” — paper architects are “drawer of dreams” who create a narrative and an imaginary vision that bypasses the restraints of building a real structure. This idea inspired me to create prints of visionary structures, using pieces of my "discarded cultural artifacts" along with appropriated images and parts of old buildings.

The more work I created, the more I felt I was building “paper architecture.” I understood, through my work, that I, too, was a "drawer of dreams," and that my message was to uncover gender-based inequities in architecture and challenge the notion that women, due to cultural attitudes, appeared to be less qualified then their male colleagues.

On a large table in my studio, I laid out my found objects randomly, stacking them and creating little sculptures. Before long, I had created an imaginary cityscape.

Seeing this new work, I was asked," Are you an architect?" I just smiled. Certainly, I am not, in the traditional sense. But, in fact, I think of myself as a builder of elemental dreams, an artist who looks to the past for inspiration and to the future for hope.

Linda Soberman's exhibition will be at Bellas Artes, Hernandez Macias 75, until April.

www.lindasoberman.com

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Linda Soberman is an internationally recognized printmaker, installation artist and educator with studios in Michigan and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her work is widely represented in national and international venues, including recent solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte, Queretaro, MX, “The Empty Chairs” at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, MI, and her recent “Women and Architectural Objects”” at the Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, MX.

During her career she has translated ideas into a variety of media: printmaking, photography, found-object sculpture and installation. Her recent multi-media work embraces themes of remembrance and the universality of loss in “The Empty Chairs” and women’s role in contemporary culture.

Linda is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including the Lifetime Achievement for Jewish Woman in the Arts, and inclusion in the book, Jewish Women in the Arts. International residencies include Scuola di Grafica, Venice, Italy; Sanbao Institute, Jingdezhen, China; and Proyecto ‘ace in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For the past three years she has been a visiting artist and resident at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Linda received her MFA from Wayne State University in Fine Art Photography and went on to teach fine art photography at the University of Michigan, and The College for Creative Studies. She continues to teach workshops in in the United States and Mexico.

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