LUCY GANS works with sculptural forms, drawing and printmaking to produce works that are self-reflective. She incorporates memory and history in intimate ways, creating a space where women’s stories are articulated. She has exhibited widely primarily in alternative spaces, women’s cooperative galleries, college and university galleries and small museums, most recently in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C. and Richmond. Her work is included in public and private collections in this country and abroad. She has received numerous grants, fellowships and awards including the National Association of Women Artists: Medal of Honor, the Peabody award for her work in printmaking and the Clara Shainless Memorial Award. She earned her MFA from Pratt Institute in sculpture with a minor in drawing. She also studied painting and drawing at the Art Students League, and earned her BFA from Lake Erie College. She is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Art, Architecture and Design and is the first holder of the Louis & Jane Weinstock ’36 Chair in Art and Architecture at Lehigh University where she teaches sculpture and drawing.
I have always been drawn to the physical processes of art making, I carve wood, manipulate clay and etch copper plates. I use material I can distress, erode or mark and although I prefer to work in multiples, I individually manipulate each piece through surface marking and coloration. The sculpture is more expressive, the works on paper more representational. The work in this exhibition has been selected from different series and is grouped accordingly. This body of work, all done in the past few years, centers on domestic violence, remembered childhood sexual abuse and personal memory. The drawings start as a watercolor or gouache from photographs and direct observation and then are rendered over tightly in graphite. I use my own image, one I have control over, to draw attention to issues I have little control over: aging, domestic violence, remembered childhood abuse. The prints come from my manipulated photographs and are processed as litho-transfer and, most recently, as photogravure with letterpress. I work through the violent acts I write about by cutting, stabbing, beating and scratching into the surface of the clay, wood and paper. Writing and research is an important part of my process, I write while I carve, I write while I draw and sometimes carve and stamp and stencil this text into my pieces to further illuminate the social and political context for each piece. But the work is personal; the text culled from literature, biography, and interviews as well as personal narrative and invention, coupled with constant adjustments, refinements and modifications. For me nothing is ever really finished: I enjoy the imperfect nature of my process and the implication that the work is always evolving, reminding me that there is always more to learn and always more to do.