chicago

Elizabeth Newman

Compassrose Gallery

Elizabeth Newman’s sculptural objects fetishize memory; they reek of a kind of precious poignancy that teeters precariously on the edge of solipsism. Her art is one of poetic embalming, a dreamy but determined descent into memory and recollection. Newman characteristically retrieves an object that has a personal, spiritual, or metaphorical aura, intervenes to augment the quality that attracted her, and presents the resulting artifact in an encasement that estheticizes it, enhancing its particular aura of meaning.

Untitled (Bovine Eggs), (all works 1990), assembles a collection of oval calcified hair balls removed from the stomachs of dead cows. These puzzling items, found by Newman in an apothecary in Chicago’s Chinatown, can be used in the preparation of traditional medicinal soups. Exploding with resonant ambiguities, their existence, name, use, appearance, and history all strain our

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