Body Doubles: New Work by Amy Toscani
Saturday, April 7, 2012 6-9pm
April 7 – May 19, 2012
In Body Doubles, artist Amy Toscani transforms mundane materials into fantastical monuments that pay homage to the day to day of Midwestern American culture. Her sculptures are abstracted stand-ins for the real objects that inspire Toscani's elaborate creations, which connect concepts of kitsch, queer culture and childhood memories into displays of how the mainstream can be recoded as epic artifacts.
The work reflects the aesthetics of her childhood, retro-looking, lowbrow crafts from the 1960s and toys such as hippity-hops and Erector sets. Toscani describes her art as a mix of fantasy and 4-H, borrowing from everyday acts and materials to create pieces that feel imposing with a grandeur that eclipses their humble beginnings. The materiality of these pieces presents a fascinating foil to expectations, constructed with everything from asphalt to vinyl tiling, the sculptures transcend the nature of the materials. But even though Toscani’s creations have a monumental presence the work never loses a self-deprecating sense of humor and an intrinsic humanistic quality.
Amy Toscani earned her BFA in studio arts and her MFA in sculpture from Ohio University, Athens, OH. She has exhibited extensively since 1993, including shows at Gateway Sculpture Park, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Weisman Art Museum and Franconia Sculpture Park. She was commissioned to create public art pieces by Gateway Sculpture Park, Lowertown Artway Project and The Molecular and Cellular Biology Building at the University of Minnesota. She has also won numerous awards and fellowships for her work, including the Jerome, McKnight and Bush fellowships for visual artists.