October 2, 2019

Rose (Brown) Dalessandro at Galerie Camille @ Hyperallergic

DETROIT—The image of an incomplete woman stands quite literally at the center of Rose (Brown) Dalessandro — a retrospective of the somewhat enigmatic Detroit sculptor who passed away in 2017 at the age of 77. The posthumous survey of her work highlights several of her signature motifs, mostly rendered in hand-built ceramic, or bronze and plaster relief: shields that resemble the colorful carapaces of beetles, wabi-sabi vessels, and series of female figures that appear somewhere between a mythic Amazonian ideal and the Venus of Willendorf.

The various threads of Dalessandro’s finished works lead into the interior sanctum of Galerie Camille, where a kind of shrine to the artist’s inner life has been mounted: a wall papered in concept sketches and musings from her sketchbooks and diaries. Within these snippets, one detects the struggle faced by many a female artist: the obligations of a creative existence in a turf war with the responsibilities of a procreative existence. Just as her ceramic goddesses are born into the world lacking a full complement of limbs and features, one senses in Dalessandro’s writings an unmet desire for her fullest expression.

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