Constructing Other Selves
2014 - 2021
October 29, 2021 – February 13, 2022
DRESS UP exhibit is available online only
These sculptures function as both objects of contemplation and props for performance…
Extensively exhibited both nationally and internationally, Phyllis Green has made
objects and performances that refer to the human body for more than forty years. Through
these stand-in corporal forms she addresses gender politics, cultural mores and matters
of the human mind and spirit. Full of humor, her visual commentary is witty, pithy,
questioning and never didactic.
Phyllis Green moved to So Cal from Canada, where she was raised, to pursue graduate
studies in art. She was awarded an M.F.A. by UCLA in 1981 and began her professional
career as an artist, educator and curator in Los Angeles, where she currently resides,
making art, lecturing and occasionally curating exhibits. Green is multi-faceted
in her approach. Although her initial focus was on ceramics, she shifted to include
mixed media construction, elaborate costume, audience participatory installation and
Green acknowledges the influence of the international Feminist Art Movement of the
1970’s as a seminal event that profoundly changed both her life and her art. During
the 70’s many artists dealt with charged images of the female psyche and with issues
of anger in response to a male dominated art world. Green was specifically affected
by the work of artists who questioned the status of women in the art world. She chose
to move to Southern California particularly because of the vibrant activity of women
A long-time a fan of fashion and costume design, Green developed her own visual language
using clothing as a metaphor, first of all, for the human body and also as signifier
of gender, cultural identity, historical period, and role. The symbolic use of color,
texture, structure and inflated scale easily followed.
Green is an avid reader and has traveled widely. Her visual work sometimes reflects
both elements of traditional clothing design, spirit of place and culture. The works
in the photographs below are derived from recent travel in Brazil and subsequent research
into Candomble, a spiritual practice in the region, combined with the clothing worn by men in the
Candomble ritual. She has intentionally exaggerated the scale in order to evoke numinous presence
and to enable the visitor to engage, sometimes quite literally, by inhabiting a piece.
The Dress Up exhibition focuses on Green’s exploration of identity through the experience of making,
wearing, performing and seeing others perform in symbolic costumes and sculptures.
The dates of works included in this grouping span the years 2014-21. El Camino College
Art Gallery is proud to present the deftly inquisitive work of Phyllis Green.
Following this introduction is the text/script for the video directed and produced
by the artist with the assistance of Waleska Santiago. Click on Link to access video.
wood, fabric, foam core
61" x 19" x 24"