Ann Agee: Quotidian

September 26, 1996 - November 09, 1996

Yoshii Gallery is pleased to present Quotidian, a solo exhibition of Ann Agee’s new work. Agee has moved from creating china sex toys and bathrooms to exploring figurines and wallpaper.

Her homemade wallpaper and shelf liners laugh at their functional counterparts. Labels of household products are transformed on rice paper into flower patterns, simultaneously vivid and delicate. Tide detergent boxes and X-Men snack bags are hand painted with gouache into organic forms, with blooms of pop-feminism. The mass-produced anonymous qualities of logos are lost in Agee’s individual depictions. As with Warhol’s Brillo Boxes, we are asked to inspect the overlooked, but unlike 70’s Pop Art, these consumer products are reconstructed and meticulously painted.

Her figurines hover above their decorative connotations. Differing from 18th century porcelain figures, these characters depict average urbanites. The romanticized Meissen loungers of 1770 step off the stage and into sneakers and polyester. Embellished by gold and china paint, joggers and commuters are caught paused, not posing. Diverse as a city’s population, these humorously recognizable members of the masses are exonerated. Constructing these objects, the artist becomes a fusion of the laboring factory worker and the dainty doily knitter.

Maureen Sherlock writes in the catalogue essay, “Agee’s representation raises the issue of kitsch in the domestic context of class and economics., placing pressure on the ideological construction of beauty.” In this new work, high and low art is indivisible and the mundane is both celebrated and reframed.