Viridian Artists is pleased to present the recent work of Renée Borkow. This latest group of collages was completed over the last 4 years and explores ideas about women and their place in society throughout history, or as some would say, herstory.
More than the drawings of urban scenes Borkow showed in her last exhibit in 2014, these works resemble in composition her early abstract paintings of the 90’s & early 2000’s. The artist has immersed herself in history starting with the Greek Gods & Goddesses and filled her works with images & words some might think possess traditional female associations – corsets, diamond rings, bows - things that at first glance are not considered necessarily strong but which have perhaps acted over the centuries as objects of sublimation of the female- ways to woo her and overpower her.
A collage filled with stars and a girl with an arrow makes sense when you research the meaning of “uranometria” which refers to measuring the heavens for it is the name of the first Star Atlas created in 1603 by the German Astronomer Johann Bayer. But also there is the word “Indus” which is a river and the name of a Bronze Age civilization. The images are mysterious and complex as are the meanings, but one can also just enjoy making one’s associations or not, for the complexity of the work is an aspect of our fascination.
As the artist states “The research for the show was interesting historically, but also revealed the themes and differences between loyalty and vengeance, what is “God-like” and what is “mortal” and what is interpreted as power and weakness. The heroines of Greek mythology make us think about our individual and unique strengths. The gods never thought that they weren’t in complete control (especially Zeus), but the goddesses knew better.”
Renée Borkow lives and works in New York City. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, and has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University. She has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Lyon and Pittsburgh.