Museum  September 12, 2018  Megan D Robinson

"Image Model Muse" Explores How Media Shapes Us

Courtesy the artist, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Foxy Production, New York

Sara Cwynar, Tracy (Grid 1), 2017, pigment print mounted on Dibond

Opening Friday at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Sara Cwynar: Image Model Muse uses film, collage, and composite photographs to examine how design and popular images impact our psyches, affect our social and political realities, and mold our conceptions of beauty. Cwynar’s first US solo museum exhibition, Image Model Muse includes 11 photographs from the artist’s ongoing Tracy series, as well as three of her latest films—Soft Film (2016), Rose Gold (2017), and Cover Girl (2018).

Courtesy the artist, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Foxy Production, New York

Sara Cwynar, Tracy (Gold Circle), 2017, dye sublimation print on aluminum, edition of 3 with 2 AP

Her work questions the permanence of objects when popular culture renders the lifespan of images increasingly short. The obsessive materiality of her photographic images call attention to their constructedness, serving not only as a compelling formal device, but as a metaphor for how beauty and desire are also constructs in and of themselves.​"
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Gabriel Ritter, Curator and Head of Contemporary Art, Mia 

Cwynar re-appropriates dated kitschy advertising, creating intricate tableaux, using vivid colored backdrops, found objects and images, to comment on our social and political environment and our evolving history. Her multilayered films deal with materialism, the mechanism of desire, changing perceptions of color, gender, and branding, consumerism, sexism, perception, truth and beauty. 

Sara Cwynar, Cover Girl (still), 2018
Courtesy the artist, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Foxy Production, New York

Sara Cwynar, Cover Girl (still), 2018, 16 mm film on video with sound

Sara Cwynar, Soft Film (still), 2016
Courtesy the artist, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Foxy Production, New York

Sara Cwynar, Soft Film (still), 2016, 16 mm film on video with sound
 

Sara Cwynar, Rose Gold (still), 2017
Courtesy the artist, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Foxy Production, New York

Sara Cwynar, Rose Gold (still), 2017, 16 mm film on video with sound
 

Based in Brooklyn, Cwynar (Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1985) has an MFA from Yale University; a Bachelor of Design from York University, Toronto, ON; and studied English Literature at the University of British Columbia. Cwynar has had solo exhibitions in New York, London, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, and Sweden and has work in the permanent collections of a number of museums.

Courtesy the artist, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Foxy Production, New York

Sara Cwynar, Tracy (Possible to See, Possible to Sell), 2017, dye sublimation print on aluminum, edition of 3 with 2 AP

Sara Cwynar: Image Model Muse runs through January 20, 2019.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.