Poetic Ghost is Richard Speer's "Critic's Pick." (art ltd.)

In “Poetic Ghost,” Cassandra Straubing takes up the blouse form as a central conceit. The artist, based in San Jose, California, is intrigued by the history of the blouse, in particular its supplanting of the dress as garment-of-choice for women integrating into the business work force in the early 20th century. Straubing is concerned not only with this garment as a symbol of women’s professional empowerment, but also its impact on generations of immigrants who worked in the “shirtwaist” factories of New York City and Philadelphia. Adapting the creations of Bay Area fashion designer Babette, Straubing casts blouse forms in glass, producing objects that reference changing notions of femininity in the business and social arenas. (excerpt)

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December 13, 2014