A&R Review: Jenie Gao’s Claiming Space

Kaylee Pryble, Arts & Rec Editor

Jenie Gao is an artist and entrepreneur, specializing in large-scale projects like murals and public installations. Her work has been featured in galleries such as the Museum of Wisconsin Art and Museo de Arte Moderno in Castro, Chile.

Crossman Gallery is currently hosting Gao’s exhibit, “Claiming Space.” With art only along the back and side walls, the center of the gallery is wide open, allowing the art to be the main focus.

The left side of the gallery hosts sketch drawings, most in black ink against white paper. “Bleeding Heart,” a response to the Keystone Pipeline crisis, is one piece lining this wall. It featured both bright and dark inks symbolic of blood and oil.

The back wall features wood carvings, many of which show a figure with branches in place of a head and dogs with bullhorns instead of mouths. “Attention,” shows a figure with branches housing birds speaking with a headless figure. Ribbons of scraped wood sat underneath each carving, presumably from the creation of that carving itself.

The right wall featured two groupings of acrylic paintings, one series titled “Globe Weaver,” and the other “Feminist Allegories.” The pieces of “Globe Weaver” each feature a glass-globe spider, highlighted by the bright white of it’s web.

Two of the “Feminist Allegories” works featued those same branches as the carvings, while the last one, “Medusa was the only piece in the gallery to feature a face     Gao’s “Claiming Space” is a unique exhibit, honing in on the ideas of nature and what it truly means to be human.

“Claiming Space” will be in Crossman through Nov. 13. For more information or to see more of Gao’s work, visit jenie.org.