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Columbia College Chicago

Elizabeth Ernst Solo Exhibition at Catherine Edelman Gallery

Elizabeth Ernst
Mirror Mirror
May 2nd - July 3rd, 2014.  
Opening Reception: May 2nd from 5:00 - 7:00
Artist Talk, Saturday, May 3rd at Noon.

Elizabeth Ernst is fourteen months younger than her brother David, who was born in 1948 with cerebral palsy. As a way of protecting David, her parents did not let them play outside, confining their playground to the house. It was in her childhood home that Ernst first created her cast of imaginary friends who kept her company. Years later, she is still crafting a cast of characters based on people imagined and real. Mirror Mirror continues the artists’ deep commitment to storytelling, where animals talk, wood and paper mache come alive, and metal objects display a personality.

Like Stuart Little, the Tin Man or Peter Rabbit, Ernst’s characters go about daily life, unaware of their difference. In her invented world, people deemed “other” are embraced and seen as the norm, much like the way her family treated her brother, who was physically and emotionally challenged. Ernst explores this idea of transformation in several pieces including Gus in the Kitchen, in which a bird-like man prepares eggs for breakfast; in The Junk Collector, in which a man constructed from wood and metal sits among his fabricated parts; and in Edie Remembering, which shows a woman past her prime, her deep eyes and aged skin hinting at a life well lived. Mirror Mirror takes imagination and holds it up for all to see. Her studio has replaced her childhood home as a place of refuge. It is there, among scraps of metal, wood, plastic, miniature parts, power tools and photographs that her characters are brought to life.

All pieces in Mirror Mirror were sculpted or constructed by the artist, then photographed and printed on canvas paper, with acrylic paint added to the surface. All images are one-of-a-kind.

For more information, click here.