Priscilla Bender-Shore

Priscilla Bender-Shore

Since 1968, Priscilla Bender-Shore's work has reintroduced the human image into the visual vocabulary. Educated at Cooper Union, Yale, St. John's, and UCSB, her MFA work and thesis, The Human Silhouette, broadened the dialog on the figure as motif. She was an instructor of drawing and painting at Santa Barbara City College from 1971 to 1996. She has a long resume of both jurying and curating local, regional, and national exhibitions in painting, drawing, and photography. In 1988 she won a national painting competition award, a coveted six-month residency at Monet's home in Giverny, France. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe.

Artist Statement

Since the MFA days in 1968, my consuming interest as an artist has been in the human figure, the female nude in particular. The challenge was to "...fashion images of ourselves sufficiently powerful to deny our nothingness..." (Andre Malraux) and, at the same time, to reintroduce the figure into contemporary visual language. I am fascinated by body attitudes, the subtle gestures of response to water, heat, cold, night, isolation, gravity, also by single-figure invention: alone, as a whole, in part, fragmented, floating, immersed, emerging.

I think of the figure as a vehicle, not a destination. My interest is in process-- ambiguity, randomness, accident, the unexpected, finish vs. unfinish, transition itself, being always at the edge and always in the balance--much like the human condition.

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