Nov 5 – Dec 31, 2021

Robischon Gallery is pleased to present five concurrent solo exhibitions featuring artists Paco Pomet (Granada, Spain), Walter Robinson (Santa Fe, NM), Tom Judd (Philadelphia, PA), Gary Emrich (Denver, CO), and Terry Maker (Louisville, CO). The painting, sculpture, mixed media and video installation works on view address a range of complex historical issues, as well as reflect the cultural relationships and challenging conditions present in the contemporary world. Alluding to a variety of weighty themes, from societal hierarchies to the environment, and handled in an uncommon, unexpected manner by the five artists on view, the exhibitions offer an engaging look at America’s past and present. Painters Pomet and Judd, along with video artist Emrich, take full artistic license with photographic or filmic references of the past, while sculptors Robinson and Maker carve and cast larger-than-life provocative narrative works.  The distinctive artworks on view vary and interconnect through imagery that is intentionally potent, surreal, poetic and absurd, while respectfully inviting the viewer to interpret and fully participate in a cultural dialogue that is both personal and ever-changing

Terry Maker

“Cure All”

Robischon Gallery is pleased to present Terry Maker’s “Cure All”, the artist’s eighth solo exhibition at the gallery.  Known for her broad visual vocabulary and adventurous use of uncommon sculptural media, such as the previously shown giant jawbreaker candies and straw cowgirl hats, Maker is committed to a strong sense of play in approaching her chosen often serious subjects. In this latest exhibition, a selection of the artist’s signature, bold and witty sculptures command the space with a thematic approach. Acknowledging the current state of global health and its many physical, and psychological reverberations, Maker comically takes a jab at disarming the global cultural minefield.

In true Maker fashion, the artist revitalizes and re-assigns new meaning to identifiable forms through context and exaggerated scale, and by beginning the exhibition with the work entitled “Cure All”, an intentionally perplexing larger-than-life cherry Tootsie Pop. Maker employs the form of the highly recognizable American candy, made desirable in the 1930s, to symbolize the collective passion for more and to reflect a typical American trait, a demand for immediate satisfaction.  Entitled, Self-Portrait/How Many Licks Does It Take to Get to The Center?, the sculpture is presented as a conceptual object. Its preposterously large wrapper hides what the viewer suspects is inside but cannot be sure of given its absurd scale. Prompting a child-like curiosity while playing upon the more seasoned adult perspective, the viewer is meant to wonder about the object while recalling the Trick-or-Treats of Halloween, or the lollipops given after a painful shot in the arm at a doctor’s office – the form may trigger both desire and dread. The artist takes all into account as she recalls the decades-old advertising campaign for the candy as it echoes from the distant past and earworms its way into the present. The various candy wrapper designs held many mysteries for countless fans when first conceived. 

Widespread myths circulated in the public that if the rare wrapper design that displayed the stereotype of a Native American chief with a bow and arrow aiming at a shooting star was found, then a free Tootsie Pop would be afforded. The quest by children for more and more pops created an unsettling stir for the candy merchants. A product of its era, with unapologetic and firmly entrenched racial stereotypes, serves the artist in her personal quest and messaging that all must accept and take personal and societal responsibility for human frailties while attempting to genuinely rise above them. Maker utilizes the vintage Tootsie Pop form as an engagingly absurd but effective visual link to illustrate this quest surrounding humanity’s complexities.

A reveal of the artist’s grand object and hard-won process is shown nearby the sculpture and featured within the video footage displayed.  Formed in resin in her studio, a kind of off-beat laboratory, the brilliant red translucent shaped orb, alludes to the key.  Maker calls the piece a rare self-portrait, as the viewer discovers a shadowy shape of a human head that holds the Tootsie Pop center’s deep interior.  The head signals, in an intentionally bizarre fashion, the artist’s own search for meaning and balance while facing the usual trappings of mind and human obsession for more. The message of coming to terms with this incessant human drive also brings with it, according to Maker, an opportunity for a spiritual uncovering - seeking the larger universal SELF as a means to finding an all-encompassing peace - that is, if each human being is willing to redirect their more basic desires.  As the 1968 Tootsie Pop commercial playfully and famously states, “How many licks does it take to get to the center…?  The world may never know.”

In “Cure All” Maker’s surrounding sculptural installations, present the viewer with a pervasive sense of circularity. Not only in the repetition of a literal circle or curvilinear forms throughout, as exemplified by the absurd and unwieldy drawing installation entitled Circumscribe, but as a symbol of the endless nature of the human condition.  The Great Physician with its all too familiar form of a religious open hand, offers a surprising solution to its intended recipient in the form of an oversized capsule. Across the way is an installation work that shares the same name as Maker’s show title, Cure All, which consists of a large grouping of the artist’s wildly sized, vividly colored pills of blue, pink, and red, scattered along the shelf and on prominent display. The improbable scale of the pills would make them impossible to swallow, each one bigger than the next. But at a time of great fear and anxiety in the world as to how the current pandemic will finally and truly subside, the quest for a magic pill holds a sacred if not holy position. This desire to come full circle, to return to where the world began before the plague, would seem to be a mark all global citizens would hope to achieve. Though as Maker’s insights provide, “We each may make a mark at the expense of possible destruction in order to bring about a way to contemplate life’s ultimate meaning and negotiate life’s bigger questions.”  The weight of what for some seems to feel impossible at times can be made momentarily buoyant by inhabiting artist Terry Maker’s unexpected, and joy-filled stance.    

Terry Maker received her BA from McMurry University, Abilene, Texas and an MFA from the University of Colorado, as well as an MA in Education from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her work has been exhibited in many solo museum exhibitions including: Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO; Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO; Museum of Art Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO; Littleton Museum, Littleton, CO; Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and Museum; Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO, and Longmont Museum, along with exhibitions at the Denver Botanic Gardens, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, among other venues throughout the United States.