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Magazines Inspire 'Consumption' Paintings

Alisa Henriquez paintings reflect popular media culture

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February 10, 2012 | by Judy Moore
“Consumption,” Alisa Henriquez’s Winter 2012 exhibition, is open to the public through March 15, at the Dittmar Memorial Gallery.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Today’s popular media culture inspired artist Alisa Henriquez to directly explore images of consumption in her recent body of abstract paintings.

“Consumption,” Henriquez’s Winter 2012 exhibition, is open to the public through March 15, at the Dittmar Memorial Gallery. The gallery is located on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Admission is free.

Primarily about gender, beauty and material desire, the sources for her works are leading home and fashion magazines, such as “House Beautiful” “Better Homes and Gardens,” “Vogue,” Cosmopolitan” and “Glamour.”

In assembling and reconfiguring fragments from these sources into complex compositions, she hopes to create an experience that calls into question the messages these media images try to perpetuate. One catches glimpses of manicured and polished fingernails, a round make-up container of rosy cheek blush, a feminine eye framed in dark mascara, a lipstick covered smile, glistening white teeth, plumped-up lips, a well-toned human figure, a blazing fire, striped table linens and geometric textiles and wall and floor tiles in her brightly colored paintings.

“There is a seemingly insatiable appetite for all to be happier, save more money, be more beautiful, appear more fashionable and live in a more splendidly appointed environment,” said the artist.

Henriquez is an associate professor in Michigan State University’s department of art and art history. Born in Jamaica and raised in Canada, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Indiana University. She also attended the Yale Summer School of Music and Art with the support of an Ellen Battel Stoekel Fellowship.

Her work has been featured in local, national and international exhibitions, including the Evanston Arts Center. For more on the artist, visit www.alisahenriquez.com.

For exhibition information, call the Dittmar Gallery at (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, e-mail dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or visit www.dittmar.northwestern.edu.

The Dittmar Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.