Bolero, 2005. Felt, resin, and gelcoat, 40 x 240 in. diameter.

Beauties and Beasts: A Conversation with Mia Westerlund Roosen

A sculptor of note since the early 1970s, Mia Westerlund Roosen showed at the Sable-Castelli Gallery in Toronto, Willard Gallery in New York, then Leo Castelli from 1976–88, one of a handful of women represented by the legendary dealer. She came of age with a number of pioneering women artists who, empowered by feminism and the increasing diversity of artistic practices, breached the barricades of Minimalism and an art world dominated by white male artists. Always independent in her thinking and production, Westerlund Roosen preferred, and still does, a hands-on, almost artisanal approach to making art, relying on experience rather than manifestoes. Her distinctive, even eccentric forms and her wide range of materials—resin, felt, cast concrete, lead, copper, bronze, encaustic, ceramic, plaster—serve as a rebuttal to the rational geometries, serialization, coolness, and crushing industrial scale of Minimalism. With their rougher textures and imperfect contours, Westerlund Roosen’s works, while nominally abstract, have almost always referred to the figurative and the sensuous, as is the case with Aida (1978), Baritone (1984), Pompadour (1986), and American Beauties (1989), for instance.…see the entire article in the print version of September’s Sculpture magazine.

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