Exhibitions

Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk

Main Gallery Jan 19–Apr 20, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday, January 18
6 to 7 pm Members’ and Press Preview
7 to 9 pm Public Opening

Closing Reception: Saturday, April 20, 5 - 7 pm

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Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk
Jan 19–Apr 20, 2013

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Miriam Wosk, About Life, 2010, Paper collage, foil, glitter, jewels, and mixed media on canvas, 70 x 70 in., Courtesy of Steven Ehrlich and Nancy Griffin
Miriam Wosk, About Life, 2010, Paper collage, foil, glitter, jewels, and mixed media on canvas, 70 x 70 in., Courtesy of Steven Ehrlich and Nancy Griffin
Miriam Wosk, Bones of the Golden Serpent, 2008, Paper collage, painted foils, and butterflies on canvas, 41 1/4 x 53 x 3 in., Courtesy of The Miriam Wosk Family Trust
Miriam Wosk, Bones of the Golden Serpent, 2008, Paper collage, painted foils, and butterflies on canvas, 41 ¼ x 53 x 3 in., Courtesy of The Miriam Wosk Family Trust
Miriam Wosk, The Grotto, 2006, Acrylic crystals, pearls, beads, sequins, glitter, starfish, coral, cactus spines, organic materials, collaged paper, and mixed media on canvas, 66 x 119 in., Courtesy of The Miriam Wosk Family Trust
Miriam Wosk, The Grotto, 2006, Acrylic crystals, pearls, beads, sequins, glitter, starfish, coral, cactus spines, organic materials, collaged paper, and mixed media on canvas, 66 x 119 in., Courtesy of The Miriam Wosk Family Trust
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Miriam Wosk, The Golden Serpent, 2007–2008, Paper collage and painted metallic foils on canvas, 63 ½ x 118 ¾ in., Courtesy of The Miriam Wosk Family Trust
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Miriam Wosk, Beyond the Impossible, 2005, Paper collage, 103 ½ x 125 ½ x 3 ¾ in., Courtesy of Jennifer Simchowitz, Photo: Brian Forrest
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Miriam Wosk in front of Dream Weaver, 2008, Photo by Douglas Kirkland
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Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk, Installation view, 2013
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Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk, Installation view, 2013
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Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk, Installation view, 2013
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Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk, Installation view, 2013
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Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk, Installation view, 2013

Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk is the first major survey of the acclaimed local artist. The exhibition distills essential pieces from Wosk’s exuberant lifework to trace the arc of her explorations into the connections among nature, human consciousness, aesthetics, and spiritual transcendence. Wosk worked prolifically across disciplines. She began her career in New York as a commercial illustrator for such prominent publications as Ms. Magazine and the New Yorker and then settled in Santa Monica to refine her art practice. The survey culminates in Wosk’s massive collages whose encrusted surfaces teem with a materiality that reveals the beauty and terror of life on both a molecular and a cosmic scale.

Wosk is best known for intricate paintings and collages that she often adorned with pearls, glitter, crystals, starfish, collaged images, and other vivid ornamentation. Many of her rich landscapes juxtapose skeletal figures with budding flowers, dense roots, and dazzling celestial imaginings, and her process of pouring, painting, airbrushing, gluing, embedding, and coating possessed a devotional, mantra-like repetition.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalog with introductions by architect Frank Gehry and designer Milton Glaser, an essay by artist Robert Kusher, and an interview between journalist Kristine McKenna and Wosk’s son Adam Gunther.

Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk is organized by Elsa Longhauser, executive director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

Support for this exhibition was made possible by the Maple Trust and SMMoA’s Ambassador Circle. Additional support was provided by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.


About the artist:

Born in 1947 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wosk died in 2010 in Santa Monica. She attended the University of British Columbia, Canada, and the Fashion Institute of Technology, New School for Social Research, and the School of Visual Arts, New York. Wosk completed residencies at the American Academy in Rome, Italy, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, Colorado. A prolific artist whose career spanned nearly four decades, Wosk’s work was shown in more than 100 exhibitions including at such distinguished galleries and institutions as Santa Monica Museum of Art, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, Billy Shire Fine Arts, Culver City, The Gabarron Foundation, Carriage House Center for the Arts, New York, Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York, and Edward Cella Art+Architecture, Santa Barbara.