Anne Drew Potter
My Bear’s House
April 7—28, 2016
Opening: First Thursday, April 7, 6:00—8:00 pm
Two colossal black bears constructed of contrasting fabrics and a nubile porcelain boy inhabit Anne Drew Potter’s installation, My Bear’s House. It is a scene of battle, domestication and sensuality.
The work expresses themes of power, dominance, and the subversion of gender roles. Potter mixes metaphors, evoking clichés while defying their completion. Is the prevailing black bear a reminder of the European-American conquest of the “Wild West,” or is she something else? An example of the consumerist excess that compels us to hoard hyperbolic goods? The epitome of safety and sensual abandon, a mother figure large enough to embrace us all? Is her vanquished foe a commentary on eroding ecosystems and the particular vulnerability of top-of-the food chain predators? Or, is she just a loser? The winner always “gets the girl,” but in this case the winner gets the boy. But then is the boy the trophy? Or, is he actually the dreamer, a sheep out of wolf’s clothing?
Many human behaviors, both positive and negative, can be traced back to a simple need for power and agency. The same impulses that lead us to assert our rights and desires can, in the extreme, become violent and aggressive. Where is the line between self and other?
About the Artist: Anne Drew Potter has coalesced her fascination, adoration, and abhorrence of the human condition into a unique formal language. With a background in sculpture and ceramics, she deftly manipulates anatomical forms to create unsettling and ambiguous figures that speak to the role of the physical self in constructing identity.
Potter’s early involvement in social work as well as an interest in other cultures (she has lived in both Mexico and Germany as well as throughout the United States) informs her emotionally charged practice and the complex narratives behind her installations. Her work is designed to be accessible on multiple levels, providing both a sensual and intellectual experience.
Up Next: Gallery4Culture will feature Kamla Kakaria in May.