This exhibition investigates the materials, techniques and reception of painted wood sculpture in Europe between the 13th and the 18th centuries. Polychrome (multicolored) wood sculptures are today recognized as art objects, but at the time they were made, viewers interacted with the sculptures as if they were alive. Most of the works on view here represent sacred figures from Christianity, and their lifelike appearance was central to their function as objects of prayer and devotion. Whether located in a church or a home, the sculptures were part of a multisensory experience.
During the 1980s, Sheila Pepe worked at SCMA in multiple roles, beginning as a gallery guard before working as a preparator’s assistant and a curatorial and administrative intern. In 2008, she returned to SCMA, to make Red Hook at Bedford Terrace. For Pepe, Red Hook at Bedford Terrace is a celebration of intersections and connectivity, of places, people, and their labor.
This grouping of fourteen objects highlights the relationship between North American Indigenous artists and artists from the European societies that occupy their homelands.