Tag Archives: Laurel Hausler

LAUREL HAUSLER’s “Dogtown” reviewed in The Washington Post

29 Jun

 


Laurel Hausler. “Midnight in Dogtown,” 2019. (Laurel Hausler)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

By Mark Jenkins

Laurel Hausler

“Dogtown,” the namesake of Laurel Hausler’s show at Morton Fine Art, is a real place: an abandoned Massachusetts town that literally went to the dogs. But it’s also a state of mind, one that has much in common with the outlook of the Arlington artist’s previous exhibition, “Ghost Stories.”

Like the earlier pictures, these feature spectral presences, mixed-media contrasts and compositions dominated by darkness. So the most surprising of the newer works is “Midnight in Dogtown,” in which a sketchy rendering of a human figure is framed by upside-down black drips and dwarfed by fields of bright orange and red.

The selection includes a few small pieces that employ found objects and encaustic, a mix of wax and pigment. More common, though, are expressionist drawing-paintings that combine pencil marks with oil and gouache. These appear vehement, yet rough in places. It’s as if Hausler leaves openings in case any spirit might seek to enter.

Laurel Hausler: Dogtown Through Wednesday at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302.

 

Available Artwork by LAUREL HAUSLER

 

LAUREL HAUSLER’s Artwork in “Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers”, Edited by Joyce Carol Oates

6 Mar

 

Congratulations to artist LAUREL HAUSLER for her contribution of artwork to “Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers”. Edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Featuring brand-new stories by Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin, Aimee Bender, Edwidge Danticat, Sheila Kohler, S.A. Solomon, S.J. Rozan, Lucy Taylor, Cassandra Khaw, Bernice L. McFadden, Jennifer Morales, Elizabeth McCracken, Livia Llewellyn, Lisa Lim, and Steph Cha. Available 11/5/19.

 

Available artwork by LAUREL HAUSLER at Morton Fine Art.

 

LAUREL HAUSLER’s “No Trace of the Woman”/ FRANCES GLESSNER LEE and “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”

18 Oct

As many of you may recall, artist LAUREL HAUSLER created an exciting series of paintings and sculptures of felted wood in her solo exhibition “No Trace of the Woman” inspired by FRANCES GLESSNER LEE’s 1940’s dollhouse rendering of “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”, composite crime scene models recreated on a one-inch-to-one-foot scale. Inspired by Glessner Lee’s visionary and zealous passion for forensics in a time when women were unable to become detectives, Hausler selects needles and fiber as her medium to honor traditional notions of “women’s art” or “craft”, mirroring Glessner Lee’s own meticulous attention to detail, down to every last hand-crafted clue, of the “Nutshell Studies”.

 

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About LAUREL HAUSLER:
A Washington, DC native, LAUREL HAUSLER‘s love of literature, antiquity, unsolved mysteries and the obscure inspire the stories behind her work.  Working in a subtractive and additive process, she creates the surface of her felt sculpted paintings by layering strands of felted wool. Admired for resisting a self-conscious approach to process, Hausler reveals lines, veils and gestures on her surfaces that demonstrate her decision-making process through the work’s evolution to its finished state.
Please contact Morton Fine Art for acquisition of artwork from “No Trace of the Woman”.
Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 628-2787
mortonfineart@gmail.com

 

Opening Friday, October 20, 2017 at the Renwick Gallery      

(Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

 

October 20, 2017 – January 28, 2018

Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW)
Interior detail of red bedroom study

Red Bedroom, Frances Glessner Lee, mixed media

This rare public display explores the unexpected intersection between craft and forensic science.

Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death explores the surprising intersection between craft and forensic science. It also tells the story of how a woman co-opted traditionally feminine crafts to advance the male-dominated field of police investigation and to establish herself as one of its leading voices.

Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962) crafted her extraordinary “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”—exquisitely detailed miniature crime scenes—to train homicide investigators to “convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell.” These dollhouse-sized dioramas of true crimes, created in the first half of the 20th century and still used in forensic training today, helped to revolutionize the emerging field of homicide investigation.

Lee, the first female police captain in the U.S., is considered the “mother of forensic science” and helped to found the first-of-its kind Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard University when the field of forensics was in its infancy. At the time, there was very little training for investigators, meaning that they often overlooked or mishandled key evidence, or irrevocably tampered with crime scenes. Few had any medical training that would allow them to determine cause of death. As Lee and her colleagues at Harvard worked to change this, tools were needed to help trainees scientifically approach their search for truth. Lee was a talented artist as well as criminologist, and used the craft of miniature-making that she had learned as a young girl to solve this problem. She constructed the Nutshells beginning in the 1940s to teach investigators to properly canvass a crime scene to effectively uncover and understand evidence. The equivalent to “virtual reality” in their time, her masterfully crafted dioramas feature handmade objects to render scenes with exacting accuracy and meticulous detail.

Every element of the dioramas—from the angle of miniscule bullet holes, the placement of latches on widows, the patterns of blood splatters, and the discoloration of painstakingly painted miniature corpses—challenges trainees’ powers of observation and deduction. The Nutshells are so effective that they are still used in training seminars today at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

A photograph of a nutshell study of unexplained death showing a detail of a burned cabin.

Frances Glessner Lee, Burned Cabin (detail), about 1944-48. Collection of the Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, courtesy of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, MD

Showcasing the Nutshells at the Renwick allows visitors to appreciate them as works of art and material culture in addition to understanding their importance as forensic tools, and to see Lee’s genius for telling complex stories through the expressive potential of simple materials. While the Nutshells represent composites of real and extremely challenging cases featuring homicides, suicides, and accidental deaths, Lee imagined and designed each setting herself. She was both exacting and highly creative in her pursuit of detail—knitting tiny stocking by hand with straight pins, hand-rolling tiny tobacco-filled cigarettes and burning the ends, writing tiny letters with a single-hair paintbrush, and creating working locks for windows and doors.

The exhibition also highlights the subtly subversive quality of Lee’s work, especially the way her dioramas challenge the association of femininity with domestic bliss and upend the expected uses for miniature making, sewing, an other crafts considered to be “women’s work.” Also evident is her purposeful focus on society’s “invisible victims,” whose cases she championed. Lee was devoted to the search for truth and justice for everyone, and she often featured victims such as women, the poor, and and people living on the fringes of society, whose cases might be overlooked or tainted with prejudice on the part of the investigator. She wanted trainees to recognize and overcome any unconscious biases and to treat each case with rigor, regardless of the victim.

As the Nutshells are still active training tools, the solutions to each remain secret. However, the crime scene “reports” (written by Lee to accompany each case) given to forensic trainees are presented alongside each diorama to encourage visitors to approach the Nutshells the way an investigator would.

Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death is the first public display of the complete series of nineteen studies still known to exist. For the first time since 1966, 18 pieces on loan to the museum from the Harvard Medical School via the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, will be reunited with the “lost nutshell,” on loan from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, courtesy of the Bethlehem Heritage Society. The exhibition is organized by Nora Atkinson, The Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft.

Lee’s hyperreal constructions inspired contemporary artist and scenic designer Rick Araluce, whose immersive, large-scale installation is presented in the adjoining gallery. Rick Aracluce: The Final Stop opens concurrently with Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death on October 20th.

“The Nutshells are essentially about teaching people how to see. … So much of our culture has gone digital, and that’s where craft shines, because it’s three-dimensional. You can’t really understand it from the Internet, or from a flat page; you have to investigate it fully in the round.” – Nora Atkinson

Click HERE for more info on Murder is Her Hobby : Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Diaries of Unexplained Death at the Renwick Gallery

LAUREL HAUSLER solo exhibition “Strawberry Moon” opens Friday Sept 23, 2016

8 Sep

 

pinkdebs-web

LAUREL HAUSLER, Pink Debs, 2016, 12″x12″, encaustic, oil and graphite on cradled wood panel

 

 

Strawberry Moon
A solo exhibition of paintings by LAUREL HAUSLER

Friday, September 23rd – October 6th, 2016

OPENING DAY RECEPTION
Friday, September 23rd, 6pm-8pm
The artist will be in attendance.

 

teddybear-web

LAUREL HAUSLER, Teddy Bear, 2016, 12″x12″, encaustic on cradled panel

 

EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)
1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)
Washington, DC 20009

HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm

 

hausler-thumbnail

About LAUREL HAUSLER

A Washington, DC native, Laurel Hausler’s love of literature, antiquity, unsolved mysteries and the obscure inspire the stories behind her work. Working in a subtractive and additive process, she creates the surface of her paintings in encaustic, oil and graphite. Admired for resisting a self-conscious approach to process, Hausler reveals lines, veils and gestures on her surfaces that demonstrate her decision-making process through the work’s evolution to its finished state.
We walk on air, Watson.
There is only the moon, embalmed in phosphorous. – SYLVIA PLATH
On a Strawberry Moon, the night glows with berries in summer, debutante balls and the blurry
incandescent splendor of glamour in decline. – LAUREL HAUSLER

CLICK HERE to view available artwork by LAUREL HAUSLER.

Morton Fine Art’s gallerist AMY MORTON & artist LAUREL HAUSLER at WALA DC’s “Galleries 101: Law for Visual Artists II” panel discussion

17 Feb

Thanks to WALA DC for including Morton Fine Art and MFA artist Laurel Hausler on the panel, “Galleries 101: Law for Visual Artists ll”. February 10th 2016 @ Pepco Edison Place Gallery in Partnership with Art Impact USA.

Thanks to Charlene Hardy for the inclusion, and to art attorney Carl Bedell for leading this very informative panel discussion!

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“Written all over your face” by Martina Dodd examines six basic human emotions depicted in figurative artwork

22 Sep

Written all over your face

by Martina Dodd

I am fascinated by the way people communicate their feelings, ideas and thoughts.  Through written word, visual art and spoken language information can be shared by one person and interrupted by another.  Our emotional state can also be expressed in a variety of ways but the most universality recognized form is through our facial expressions.   Our body language speaks volumes even when we choose not to vocalize our feelings; from facial expressions to hand gestures, the body is consistently talking.

According to American psychologist, Dr. Paul Ekman, the six most basic emotions which can be easily understood regardless of culture and language are: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. With help from some of the artists represented by Morton Fine Art, let’s see what these emotions look like off the flesh and on the canvas.

Happiness:

Kesha Bruce. That they might be lovely, archival pigment print, 7/15. 12"x9"

Kesha Bruce. That they might be lovely, archival pigment print, 7/15. 12″x9″

Sadness:

 

Rosemary Feit Covey. Self Conscious 141103_1, mixed media 33"x28"

Rosemary Feit Covey. Self Conscious 141103_1, mixed media 33″x28″

Fear:

 

Laurel Hausler. Blue Beards Place, 2009 oil on canvas with xrays. 40”x30”

Laurel Hausler. Blue Beards Place, 2009 oil on canvas with xrays. 40”x30”

 

Anger:

 

Billy Colbert. King County, 2009 mixed media on paper. 29”x22”

Billy Colbert. King County, 2009 mixed media on paper. 29”x22”

 

 

Surprise:

 

Ethan Diehl. Vigilance, oil on canvas. 36”x60”

Ethan Diehl. Vigilance, oil on canvas. 36”x60”

 

 

Disgust: 

 

Rosemary Feit Covey, Red Handed, dimensions variable

Rosemary Feit Covey, Red Handed, dimensions variable

 

Although these emotions are seen as universal, cultural practices and norms can play a role in how emotions are revealed and concealed between different members of the community. For example, the indigenous West African system of writing known as nsibidi employs graphic signs to code and convey concepts. The meaning of these symbols are traditionally restricted to members of all male associations but in Victor Ekpuks’ Asian Ubaoikpa (Hip Sista) series the artist not only creates his own symbols in the same style of  the ancient script, but also situated women in the center of the conversation.  The color and texture evoke a visceral reaction within the viewer rather than illustrating a singular emotion or revealing the meaning of his symbols.

 

 

Victor Ekpuk. Asian Ubaoikpa (Hip Sista) #11. Acrylic on canvas, 60”x48”

Victor Ekpuk. Asian Ubaoikpa (Hip Sista) #11. Acrylic on canvas, 60”x48”

 

 

LAUREL HAUSLER’s “No Trace of the Woman” – Exhibition opens 2/13/15

12 Feb
About NO TRACE OF THE WOMAN:
LAUREL HAUSLER creates paintings and sculptures of felted wool inspired by Frances Glessner Lee’s 1940’s dollhouse rendering of “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death”, composite crime scene models recreated on a one-inch-to-one-foot scale. Inspired by Glessner Lee’s visionary and zealous passion for forensics in a time when women were unable to become detectives, Hausler selects needles and fiber as her medium to honor traditional notions of “women’s art” or “craft”, mirroring Glessner Lee’s own meticulous attention to detail, down to every last hand-crafted clue, of the “Nutshell Studies”.
About LAUREL HAUSLER:
A Washington, DC native, LAUREL HAUSLER’s love of literature, antiquity, unsolved mysteries and the obscure inspire the stories behind her work.  Working in a subtractive and additive process, she creates the surface of her felt sculpted paintings by layering strands of felted wool. Admired for resisting a self-conscious approach to process, Hausler reveals lines, veils and gestures on her surfaces that demonstrate her decision-making process through the work’s evolution to its finished state.