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Nicole Havekost: Matriarchate

January 11 - April 2, 2023

Trunk, 2020; industrial felt, cotton thread, paper, fiber fill, electrical conduit


Nicole Havekost: Matriarchate

January 11 - April 2, 2023


Opening Reception: Tea Party with Nicole Havekost and the Ladies

Saturday, January 14,  2:00 - 4:00 PM | Free and open to the public


Artist Talk & Tour with Nicole Havekost

Saturday, February 4, 1:00 PM | Free with admission: $5 Adults, $3 Seniors & Military, Free for ages 21 & Under and Members


The Rochester Art Center presents a solo exhibition of monumental sculptures and multimedia installations by Rochester-based artist Nicole Havekost. The fabric sculptures resembling giant, uniquely-proportioned women figures - the artist colloquially refers to them as “ladies” - were originally created for Chthonic, her solo exhibition in the U.S. Bank Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2020. For Matriarchate, Havekost has designed new figures that will be built during the opening reception and completed during the length of the exhibition. This is a unique opportunity for our audience to directly engage with the artistic process of Havekost and have a glance at the invisible labor that is needed to create a large-scale sculpture. 


During her solo exhibition Boundaries (Threshold Art, Rochester, MN, fall 2022), the artist debuted a new multimedia installation Sheath, that is also included in this exhibition in an updated, site specific iteration. Sheath is composed by a floating series of wool felted cuts that are treated using natural and synthetic materials, animal residues and pigments to resemble the leathery texture of the human body. Just like our bodies are inevitably exposed to a variety of agents on a daily basis - from natural elements to human-made/urban environments, from the effects of aging to the marks of illnesses and disease - the fictional ones presented here carry the history of intentional, experimental and structural marks made by the artist. The two bodies of work presented in this show inspire a child-like sense of solemn wonder, decadent humor and deeply human acceptance at the beauty of our mortality.


Through her work and research, Havekost explores the multilayered experience of living in a constantly evolving human body and celebrates the uncanny beauty of our imperfections: scars, hair, wrinkles and lumps. As the artist states: “I am fascinated by bodies. They are magical and glorious and gross and bewildering. I can actively influence the processes of my body but cannot control any of them fully. This body is mine but is also an organism with its own needs and demands; it has no respect for my feelings and is not bothered by my shame. Coarse hair now grows in places that were once smooth. Lungs take in air, bones degrade. Once pregnant, the same body now hosts faltering hormones. Despite love, wounds ooze. I must accept it all as both revelation and horror.”


About the Artist

Nicole Havekost is an artist living in Rochester, Minnesota. Her own work is varied in media and technique, but linked by her interest in material and process. Nicole is a 2021 Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) Creative Support grant recipient, a three time MSAB Artist Initiative Grant recipient as well as a 2021 McKnight Fiber Artist Fellowship finalist. She is currently working towards the upcoming 2023 two-person exhibition “Conversations'' at the South Bend Museum of Art in South Bend, Indiana. She has recently exhibited work in Texas, California, Illinois and Iowa as well as Tasmania, Australia. Nicole earned her BFA in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA in Printmaking from the University of New Mexico.


Related Programming

Get Felt Up Workshop Series with Nicole Havekost

Wednesdays, February 22, March 1 and March 8, 6:00 - 8:00 PM | $125 General Admission, $105 Members. Advance registration required.


Frankenstuffie Workshop

Saturday, March 25, 1:00 - 3:00 PM | Price per stuffie: $25 or $20 for Members



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