Shona McAndrew, Just the three of us
Art Omi presents Just the three of us, a solo exhibition by Shona McAndrew. Just the three of us will be on view in the Newmark Gallery from May 29 until August 29, 2021.
At Art Omi, McAndrew exhibits a sculptural installation. The installation portrays a group of friends sharing time together in a living room consisting of over 170 individual papier mache objects, all handmade by the artist.
For this exhibition, McAndrew draws from recollections of time spent among her high school best friends. The artist renders her friends as she remembers them at that time: casual, intimate, and out of view of the male gaze. Rather than portraying women and girls in their rooms as preparing themselves to exist for men or in the public sphere, McAndrew seeks instead to illuminate the messy yet harmonious space created by women left entirely to themselves. This tableau draws from the artist’s life and personal objects and includes renderings of snacks, spare change, melting ice cream, books, and magazines.
As has been explored elsewhere by McAndrew, Just the three of us references Classical representations of women found throughout Western art. By portraying three comely young women, McAndrew alludes to the Three Graces (or Charities), placing before them a bowl brimming with fresh fruit. Elsewhere, a de-idealized Greek bust features a double chin and rounded cheeks.
Continuing the themes of her past work, this new installation considers social constructions of the female body. McAndrew’s representations portray women secure in their identities, bodies, and environments. Reflective of her own experience as a plus-size woman, McAndrew confronts the viewer with depictions of women’s private inner moments, willfully subverting norms governing female beauty and behavior.
Shona McAndrew (b. 1990) was born in Paris and lives and works in Philadelphia. She holds an MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Psychology and Painting from Brandeis University. She has had solo exhibitions at the Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA (2020); CHART, New York, NY (2019); and Spring/Break Art Show, New York, NY (2019). She has also exhibited in group shows at Stems Gallery, Brussels, BE; Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, FL; Allouche Benias Gallery, Athens, GR; and Museum of Sex, New York, NY.