Conner Contemporary Art is very pleased to present Patricia Piccinin’s first solo exhibition in Washington, DC: “The Welcome Guest.” The selection of works ranges in date from 1997 to the present, including video and small- to large-scale sculptures (made of silicone, fiberglass, human and animal hair, taxidermied peacocks, polyester, nylon, wool, plastic and bronze). Using natural and artificial media to create realistic and grotesque forms, the world renowned Australian artist visualizes humanity’s challenges in navigating between nature and biotechnology.
The exhibition title comes from its signature piece, “The Welcome Guest” (2011), Piccinini’s most recent creation, which recalls Goethe’s statement, ‘Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.’ The artist explains that this work “reflects on the beauty and strangeness of nature.” In this compelling sculptural grouping, a fleshy mutant creature embraces a cute little girl as a graceful peacock looks on from atop an icy perch. Here Piccinini asks: Who will we become as technology refashions the relationship between people and the natural world? Other works in the exhibition elaborate on what kinds of emotional connections could emerge between us and the strange yet vulnerable life forms our science may yet create. See the show from November 5th – December 7th, 2011 at Conner Contemporary Art.