Michelle Marcuse

February 2019

This February, Grizzly Grizzly is proud to present a solo exhibition by Michelle Marcuse. Marcuse grew up in South Africa during Apartheid and bore witness to “a silent majority struggling to exist within a state of humiliation”. Her work is based in the myths we create as our memory bends and warps over time and through the space of collective and individual anxieties. The acts of seeing and creating are unstable for Marcuse and are dependent on the mythology of her own memories. In her sculptures, Marcuse creates a reality informed by unpredictable spaces, perspectives, and degrees of stability.

Marcuse’s materials reflect the impermanence of our industrial, political, and internal architecture. Her structures, made primarily of discarded cardboard, teeter on the brink of collapse, only to re-find stability by setting off in a new and unlikely direction. Her work communicates a careful study of materials under duress. The sharp angles, misaligned perspectives, and skeletal construction in her work invite entropy and create uncertainty about what is in a state of growth and what is in a state of decay. Marcuse’s structures provide unreliable shelter, mirroring our inconsistent ability to distinguish between myth and memory.

Artist Bio

Michelle Marcuse lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. She is Co-Director of HOUSEGallery, a mixed-use exhibition space in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She received a Bachelor of Design at Shenkar College, Israel [1982], continued to Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town [1983], and completed her BFA at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia [1985]. She was invited to exhibit with BLAM Projects Brooklyn, NY [2016], Arte y Amor at Taller Boricua, NYC [2016], and Borderless Caribbean at The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, Miami, FL [2015]. Michelle is a recipient of a 2016 Fleisher Art Memorial Wind Challenge exhibition and was awarded a full fellowship to The Vermont Studio Center [2012]. Marcuse’s work has been acquired by the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, the University of Notre Dame in Baltimore, MD, and the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, PA. Her work is part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art collection in Philadelphia, PA. Her work was presented for a six-month period in 2017/2018 at the Science and History Institute in Philadelphia, PA. Most recently, she became a Finalist with CFEVA’s Visual Artist Fellowship. In December 2018 her work was included in Against Gravity: TECTONICS - Imagined Spaces: an exhibition organized by DORCAM in collaboration with The Collection Suites in Miami, FL.