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Miriam Shenitzer
updated: 09/11/2009
website: miriamshenitzer.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Cod/God
Grouper/Trooper
Koy/Goy
Squid/Yid
Darter/Martyr
shrimp/pimp
Frog/Wog
Trout/Kraut
Dyke/Pike
Clam/Ma'am
scallop/trollope
White Whale/White Male
Squid/Id
dad/shad
Surgeon/Sturgeon
 
Portfolio Keywords:  narrative, humor, social criticism
 
 
Cod/God by Miriam Shenitzer
Cod/God
etching, watercolor, gouache
2007
8" x  6" 
Grouper/Trooper by Miriam Shenitzer
Grouper/Trooper
etching, drypoint, coloured pencil
2007
9" x  8" 
Koy/Goy by Miriam Shenitzer
Koy/Goy
color etching
2007
10" x  6.5" 
Squid/Yid by Miriam Shenitzer
Squid/Yid
etching, drypoint, watercolour
2007
12" x  8" 
Darter/Martyr by Miriam Shenitzer
Darter/Martyr
color etching
2007
9 " x  8 " 
shrimp/pimp by Miriam Shenitzer
shrimp/pimp
etching, drypoint, watercolour
2007
10" x  8" 
Frog/Wog by Miriam Shenitzer
Frog/Wog
Etching, Drypoint
2008
10" x  6.5" 
Trout/Kraut by Miriam Shenitzer
Trout/Kraut
etching, watercolor, monotype, gouache
2008
10" x  8" 
Dyke/Pike by Miriam Shenitzer
Dyke/Pike
Etching, Drypoint
2007
10" x  6.5" 
Clam/Ma'am by Miriam Shenitzer
Clam/Ma'am
Etching, Drypoint
2008
8 " x  9 " 
scallop/trollope by Miriam Shenitzer
scallop/trollope
etching, watercolor, gouache
2007
9" x  8" 
White Whale/White Male by Miriam Shenitzer
White Whale/White Male
etching, watercolor, gouache
2007
12" x  8" 
Squid/Id by Miriam Shenitzer
Squid/Id
color etching
2007
8" x  10" 
dad/shad by Miriam Shenitzer
dad/shad
Etching, Drypoint
2007
10" x  8" 
Surgeon/Sturgeon by Miriam Shenitzer
Surgeon/Sturgeon
etching, watercolor, gouache
2007
12" x  10" 

Artist Statement
Minimal Pairs is an ongoing project in which I explore our obsession with the idea that we can produce knowledge through taxonomies and classifications.

A minimal pair consists of two words that have just one small difference in sound but very different meanings. 'Ship' and 'Sheep' are a minimal pair. The minimal pair is a calamity for non-native speakers of English. The difficulty of distinguishing between slightly different sounds sets apart the native from the non-native speaker, acting as a barrier.

Minimal Pairs features dyads (usually a human and a marine creature) whose names rhyme. The images seem to serve as illustrations of word pairs that share a sound but no meaning.  This subverts the expectation of the viewer, who expects the pairing of word and image to illuminate one another. The minimal pairing of objects, however, forestalls the search for the logic of the pairing or for the deeper sense of the juxtaposition. This lends what appears as an illustration a perfectly abstract, non-semantic quality. 

Printmaking is the perfect medium for this project because of its flexibility.  I experiment with each proof, adding paint, pencil or ink, or taking off tone by sanding the paper itself. The linguistic nature of this series makes me think that I should leave it open-ended, and let the viewer (interlocutor, speaker?) consider the order (syntax) of the work.

Language is a convention, a general agreement on pairings of sounds and images. It means that the absurd — like the unconscious— is embedded in the very idea of its system. As someone who grew up on Monty Python and the New Yorker, I am tickled by the absurd. As a child of Holocaust survivors married to a German, an Anglo who teaches immigrants, and an American who grew up outside of the United States, I am very aware of taxonomies and categories that make us outsiders or insiders, foreigners or natives. The absurdity of categorization lies at the heart of this project.

Artist Bio / CV
Miriam Shenitzer

Selected Exhibitions
    People and Animals, Solo Show, Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA, 2009

The Book As Art, 25th Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2009, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, 2006,

The Drawing Project, Carroll and Sons, Boston, 2008

Studios@35, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, 2007

Aids Benefit Invitational, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, 2002-2008
   
The Drawing Show, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, 2000, 2002

Society of Illustrators Annual, Society of Illustrators, New York, 2001
   
Made in Massachusetts, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA 1999
   
Changing Pages, Touring Exhibition, Collins Gallery, Glasgow, 1998

Pet Paintings, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, 1996
   
Contemporary Canadian Bookworks, Gallery at the Embassy, Tokyo, 1995

Worse Than Animals: Meditations on Racist Violence, Artists Foundation Gallery, Boston, 1993
(co-curator)

The Art of the Book, National Library, Ottawa, 1993

Working Proof, Boston Public Library, 1992

43rd International Print Exhibition, De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, 1991

Graveurs de Boston, l'Estampe du Rhin, Strasbourg, 1990

The Power of the Press, Worcester Crafts Center, Worcester, 1989


Selected Collections
•    Brown University   
•    Fogg Museum of Art
•    Harvard University Fine Arts Library
•    J. Paul Getty Museum
•    National Museum of Women in the Arts
•    Newberry Library
•    New York Public Library
•    Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Oslo)
•    School of the Art Institute of Chicago
•    Temple University,
•    University of California (Los Angeles)
•    University of Colorado at Boulder
•    Rochester Institute of Technology
•    Walker Art Center
•    Wellesley College
•    Yale University
 

Illustrations
New Yorker Magazine, New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, Harvard Magazine


Education
Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA               
EdM in Language and Literacy, 1994
Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel                            BFA in Printmaking, 1987