Karen Joan Topping
12.05.2009     MFA Sculpture Thesis Exhibit

The low-residency MFA Program in Ceramics, Painting and Sculpture (MFA CPS) at the University of the Arts announces its thesis exhibit, featuring work by students S. Tiernan Alexander, Xiomara Babilonia, Sally Eckoff, Alejandro Mandel, Joanna Platt, Sarah Rene, H. John Thompson, Karen Joan Topping and Carly Yoast. The show runs December 5 – 21 and January 4 – 6 at the University’s Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery (333 S. Broad Street), Hamilton/Arronson Galleries and Hunt Room in Hamilton Hall (320 S. Broad Street).

Opening reception is December 5, 6 – 9 p.m. in the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery and Hamilton Hall.

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Artist Bio

For Karen Joan Topping, things such as toys and candy are the tools and materials for the making of art. She creates installations, sculptures and video projections engaging in a spirit of play and exploration that are inquiries into attention, emotion and judgment as much as they are investigations of aesthetic practices.  By using seductive and nostalgic objects from childhood, she examines how fantasy, memory, hope and anxiety can be explored in space and time as well as symbol and form. 


Artist Statement

Secret narratives, both playful and melancholic, have a different time and duration for each of us.  A child’s examination of the world is part observation, part feeling. There is no thinking. Fantasy, memory, hope and anxiety are complex, entangled and not easily described, but keenly felt.   We are not born knowing how to interpret denials and lies.  Is there anyone that doesn’t know the nauseating feeling of vulnerability?  The visceral and dizzying awareness that you don’t know where you are, and everything that meant something to you does not make any sense in this moment.  Your understanding echoes the limitations of your perception.  Your sense of control is revealed to be an illusion.  My studio practice engages to capture gently violent moments when the naked simplicity of what is right in front of us can be examined.  What seems marginal becomes the focus.  Exploring the everyday can reveal extraordinary attachments 

Karen Joan Topping 2009
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