October 22 — November 26, 2022
Conduit Gallery is honored to announce the fourth solo exhibition of work by Anthony Sonnenberg: Beauty Parlor. The Texas-born, Fayetteville-based artist’s latest exhibition examines Sonnenberg’s recent research into, queerness, decoration and artificiality through a narrative of sculpture, video, and photography.
As an artist and student of art history, Anthony Sonnenberg’s multifaceted studio practice explores inner motivations for outer presentations of self. Throughout history and in present day, whether through appearance, clothing, adornment or home and garden design, the choices people make about their “decoration on all levels” hold important and consequential expressions of hierarchical social standards. As Sonnenberg asserts within the framework of the Beauty Parlor exhibition, “through my own career and research of the history of visual culture, I came across queer artist after queer artist leading the way in innovation in all aspects of creative culture and decoration.” The ensuing exhibition is a testament to queer taste makers.
A large table at the center of the exhibition includes ceramic candelabras, vases and urns that play with functionality and Baroque flamboyance. In addition to the ceramic works, the exhibition includes Golden Camouflage (Ghillie Suit for a Weird Queer), a life-sized ghillie suit built by Sonnenberg over a WWII military helmet fashioned with hand cut and shaped brass orchids, and Mighty Real, a video documentation of Sonnenberg in performance, self-glazed in unfired clay, silk flowers and tassels while dancing along to the 1970's disco hit, You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester.
A site-specific installation of Anthony Sonnenberg’s wearable sculptural jewelry will be installed in the gallery’s Project Room.
Anthony Sonnenberg was born in 1986 in Graham, TX, and is currently based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He earned his BA from the University of Texas Austin (2009) and his MFA from the University of Washington Seattle (2012). His work, which ranges from ceramic sculpture to installation and performance, has been shown recently in such art institutions as the Windgate Museum of Art, Hendrix College, Conway, AR (2022); Galerie Italienne, Paris, France (2021); Dinner Gallery, New York, NY (2021); Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, FL (2021); Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL (2021); Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH (2020); Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR (2020-current); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2019); Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA (2019); Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA (2018) and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, TX (2019). Residencies include: the Windgate Museum of Art, Conway, AR (2021); the Inverse Performance Residency, Questa College, San Luis Obisbo, CA (2019); CSULB Summer Studio Resident (2018), Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY (2017); the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX (2016); the Lawndale Artists Studio Program, Houston, TX (2015-16); Sculpture Space, Utica NY (2014); the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena MT (2014); Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood WA (2012); and the Ox-Bow School, Saugatuck MI (2017/2008).