RE:SISTERS exhibit praises collaboration and resistance at ASU Art Museum

The exhibit, designed by artists Lisa and Janelle Iglesias, will run until Oct. 21 and features paintings, sculptures and free posters

The ASU Art Museum is hosting a new exhibit, RE:SISTERS, that combines both print and sculpture to show the power of working together with themes of resistance scattered throughout the show.

The exhibit, designed by Lisa and Janelle Iglesias, opened on July 8 and utilizes lines and shapes to play with perspectives. Designs on paper are cut away to reveal layers of color underneath, changing the viewer's perceptions.

The name of the show, a play on words, connects the various themes of RE:SISTERS, according to the Iglesias sisters, who chose to answer their questions under the name of "Las Hermanas Iglesias."

"While the word literally regards our sibling connection and highlights the experience of female, the title can simultaneously refer to its definition as one who refuses compliance or withstands temptation and as a homophone to a two-terminal electrical component," said Las Hermanas Iglesias in an email.

The Iglesias sisters said their work was fueled by themes of disobedience and transgression.

"For examples, shapes and patterns (in our show) disrupt edges," said Las Hermanas. "Objects resist being any one thing, the take-away posters point to histories of protest."

The sisters said the theme of resistance was important to their works, calling it a "catalyst for invention and re-imagining."

"We're constantly inspired by histories of resistance and activism," said Las Hermanas. "We're motivated by our friends and community members dedicated to social justice, and we maintain a mindfulness toward institutional, historical and contemporary structures of oppression that necessitate resistance as a tool for change."

According to Las Hermanas, the exhibit integrates and combines the sisters' individual practices in sculpting and drawing.

"While Janelle studied sculpture, she incorporates two-dimensional images and textiles into her works," said Las Hermanas. "Lisa's work is grounded in drawing, and this sensibility often manifests in three-dimensional objects and videos."

Andrea Feller, curator of education for the ASU Art Museum, said the exhibit added to the atmosphere of the museum.

"Their exhibition highlights human collaboration and human touch, which can be at times imperfect," Feller said in an email.

Feller and Garth Johnson, the curator of ceramics for the museum, invited the Iglesias sisters to participate in the institution's residency program and build the exhibit on-site.

"I followed her (Janelle Iglesias's) career throughout the past decade, and it's been amazing to see the collaborations that she's done with her sister Lisa," said Johnson, who has known Janelle Iglesias for 12 years. "The two of them frequently make artwork together and collaborate together, but they don't often get to do residencies and do exhibits together as much."

Johnson said the art museum was committed to having innovative programming like the RE:SISTERS exhibit over the summer for local audiences.

"The art museum loves to choose people with cutting edge and contemporary careers," Johnson said. "Janelle and Lisa have gotten the run of the entire museum for the last month in putting together the exhibition."

Johnson said the museum "loved" working with Las Hermanas Iglesias because it showed the public the process of creating art rather than just presenting the artwork on its own.

"It's really important for us at the museum to show not just the work of living art," Johnson said. "The public got to interact with them throughout the entire course of the exhibition."

Johnson said Las Hermanas Iglesias were "an absolute pleasure to work with" and that their inquisitive personalities were perfect for a university like ASU.

"Their work can be very labor-intensive and meticulous on their own, but there's a real, playful improvisational spirit when they're putting together an exhibition like the one," said Johnson.

The exhibit's next event is this Saturday. RE:SISTERS will be on display until October. 


Reach the reporter at mphan2@asu.edu or follow @mvyphvn on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.