Massey Klein Gallery and Culture House Present Sarah Irvin A Group of Related Things

By Editorial Team on May 24, 2021
Sarah Irvin, Stay at Home Order (detail), 2020, Photogram, Courtesy of the artist.
On View: May 22 – July 17, 2021

In partnership with Massey Klein Gallery, Culture House presents Sarah Irvin’s A Group of Related Things. The exhibition is on view from May 22 – July 17, 2021, and is open to the public each Saturday from 12pm – 3pm. No appointments are required. Virtual talks and other programming will be announced during the course of the exhibition.

Sarah Irvin’s solo exhibition, A Group of Related Things, functions as a survey of the artist’s work over the last five years. The exhibition’s wide-ranging media—sculpture, drawing, alternative photography, and video—is held together by the common thread of Irvin’s experience caring for her child. Irvin’s practice traverses philosophical, biopolitical, and artistic twenty-first-century dialogues about reproduction to produce art that is evocative and original, bringing the durational events and material objects of child-rearing into contexts that reveal and problematize their relation to larger structural systems such as the economy, public health, education, and the dynamics of social relations. The body is not absent in Irvin’s work, but invisible, indexed rather than reproduced. As such, Irvin’s work complicates the art-historical iconography of motherhood that often depicts tender moments of mothering as voyeuristic engagements with the female body. Irvin, therefore, inverts the power dynamics at play by documenting her care and her labor instead of her form and disrupts the dualistic hierarchical concepts of producer/reproducer aligned with male/female binaries by using durational action and experience as a point of departure. Irvin’s conceptual approach of artist-as-archivist is a practice of open categorization deploying provisional meaning-making boundaries formed materially in the art object only to be rethought and remade in subsequent work – producing a way of knowing that is grounded in specific engagements rather than through the illusion of detached reason. The works in the exhibit cover topics of postpartum mental health, infant care, and feeding, the material-semiotic engagements between parent and child, and caregiving during the pandemic.

About the Artist: Sarah Irvin holds an MFA in Painting from George Mason University and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Georgia. Irvin has been featured in more than twenty solo shows as well as more than fifty group exhibitions internationally. Irvin’s work is included in the prestigious corporate collections of Capital One, Four Seasons Hotel, Federal Reserve Bank, and Royal Caribbean, as well as the private collections of Quirk Hotel, Try-Me Urban Restoration Project, and the University of Richmond. She is the founder of the Artist Parent Index, a searchable database of artists making work about their experience with reproduction and caring for their children. Additionally, Irvin advocates for social and political equity through artist talks and critiques, panel talks, forums, guest curatorial roles, and her peer-reviewed writing.

About Culture House: Culture House is a 501(c)3 founded on the principle that art is a catalyst for change in the community, and is dedicated to providing inspiration and motivation for those who encounter its power. Culture House provides a functional art space for all to enjoy and learn more about the arts and culture through exhibitions, events, live performances, and hands-on experiences. Located at 700 Delaware Avenue SW, Culture House (formerly known as BlindWhino) is an artistic landmark, with the exterior fully painted by renowned muralist HENSE, and serves as a pillar for creativity in our nation’s capital.

About Massey Klein Gallery: Massey Klein is a contemporary art gallery located in the Lower East Side of NYC. The gallery supports both local and international mid-career and emerging artists. Husband and wife team, Garrett Klein and Ryan Massey, believe in the collaborative partnership between artist, gallery, and collector.  The gallery functions as a meeting place where collectors and the general public can experience carefully curated exhibitions and foster meaningful relationships with art.

Gallery Hours:

  • Saturdays from 12 to 3pm
  • and by appointment

Culture House is located at 700 Delaware Ave. SW. For more information, visit culturehousedc.org/exhibtions.