November 10 - January 14, 2023
From Elisabet Ney Museum:
Join us for the opening of a new exhibition by artists Renee Lai & Rosa Nussbaum. “The Bathing of the Sphinx” consists of a video installation in the main gallery and a sculptural element and reflection pond on the museum’s grounds. The opening reception, which is part of the Austin Studio Tour 2022, is free and open to the public.
The Bathing of the Sphinx weaves the bodies of artists Renee Lai and Rosa Nussbaum and their experiences of art, land, and femininity into Elizabet Ney’s personal history. Though the artists are separated by two world wars and an unreliable history, they try to find Ney through her own self-created fictions and conflicting narratives. They attempt to understand their own fraught relationships with Texas, femininity, and struggles of being a woman artist. The video twines in and out of the past and the present, peeling back the layers of history in attempt to contextualize Ney’s life and choices.
The motif of the sphinx functions as a main element throughout the show. During the artists’ research, they discovered an account of a missing statue of Elisabet Ney as a sphinx, an enigmatic self-portrait. The sphinx as a symbol is strongly associated with riddles and mysteries. This lost sphinx is the guide and proxy to Ney’s past and the artists’ present through their video installation and outdoor sculpture.
Rosa Nussbaum (Melbourne, Australia) is a British/German visual artist who works at the intersection of print, performance, and sculpture with an emphasis on interactivity and digital technologies. Her work explores the place where the body touches the institution through the issues of gender and immigration. She holds a BFA in Print and Time-Based Media from Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London and an MFA in Transmedia from the University of Texas at Austin. She has exhibited internationally including a commission for Glasgow International 2018, Glasgow, Scotland and screening of her piece Maiden Voyage at the Hiroshima MOCA. Rosa recently completed a residency at International Studio Program at the ACC Gallery, Weimar, Germany and a residency with Paradise Air in Matsudo, Japan. She also just finished a year as Printmaking Artist in Residence at Lawrence Art Center.
Renee Lai (Austin, Texas) is an Asian American artist based in Austin, Texas. She works in painting and drawing. Like Nussbaum, Lai’s work also touches on issues of femininity and immigration, focusing on the line between representation and anonymity in her latest group of works. Lai graduated with her MFA in Studio Art: Painting and Drawing from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019. She holds an undergraduate degree in English and Studio Art with honors from Dartmouth College, and she also studied painting at the New York Studio School. Lai is represented by GrayDuck Gallery in Austin, Texas. She has been an artist in residence at Vermont Studio Center, the Line hotel (Texas), and Monson Arts Center (Maine).”
Reception: November 10, 2022 | 6:30–8:30 pm
Artist talk: January 14, 2023 | 6–8 pm
304 East 44th Street
Austin, 78751 TX