The Charles Harris Library Gallery is pleased to present recent work by artist Claire Rau. The three series on view rely on her keen historical sensibility and mordant sense of humor. Her Campagne series uses appropriated imagery from a 1960’s Middle School textbook dealing with religious and territorial wars of the Middle Ages. The prints, which brightly catalog battles and conquests of the Crusades, are incongruously backed by lace patterns, creating an hybrid narrative through ornamentation and color.
Rau’s Weapons series of soft sculptures reflect her interest in
hand-to-hand combat and are meant to subvert ideals of virility and skill on
the battlefield. The floppy, pliable forms are an unexpectedly wry twist
on items otherwise intended to injure, maim, and kill. One is left to consider
the fundamental absurdity behind paraphernalia of defense and destruction.
Claire Rau was born in Sandusky, Ohio and raised in Kingsport, Tennessee. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Maine and her graduate work at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Rau is a recent recipient of the Book Arts & Printmaking Fellowship at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy in 2006. She has taught printmaking and sculpture courses at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Currently, Rau is working on several projects, including a new body of work inspired by booby traps. She has recently exhibited at the Larson Gallery in St. Paul and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and at this time has work on display in Beyond Printmaking at the School of Art in Lubbock, Texas. This winter, she will be showing work at The Front, New Orleans as part of Another Prospect and at the Open Studio in Toronto, Canada.
More information available at: http://www.clairejanerau.com/