Assemblage women’s artist collective

Arts / Article

Assemblage is a collective of 15 female artists from Philadelphia and the surrounding areas that, since 1985, meets regularly. The members meet to discuss their ideas and current trends in the arts, as well as plans for future exhibits. Meetings are held on a rotating basis at a different studio each month so the host can specifically showcase her recent progress. First and foremost, Assemblage was created to relieve the isolation that individual artists may feel in the studio and provide a support base of like-minds.

One such mind at work as part of the collective is Lauren Litwa Holden. Her paintings are surreal and fanciful landscapes that are reminiscent of some combination between René Magritte and Edward Hopper. She utilizes deep, bright colors and often the Americana-like imagery of barns and agriculture prevalent in the surrounding Pennsylvania countryside outside of Philly. The scenes are strangely absent of people but not their presence, as almost every painting depicts some type of architecture, often alongside birds or dreamlike objects — checkerboard fields and giant spheres.

Rosalind Bloom

Rosalind Bloom also uses the language of surreal locations, but her recent work’s focal point is that of a wooden artist’s mannequin. The androgynous figure is found in a number of poses and activities, sometimes alone and other times en masse. Obviously appearing alive, the little model makes its way to areas as various as an empty field of colored houses to a display case in front of an American flag.

Susan Hader-Golden

Work that concentrates on the relationship between humans and nature can be found in the paintings of Susan Hader-Golden. Her encaustic on panels are thickly layered sheets of paint in mostly organic forms, but sometimes contrasted with straight lines and blocks of color fields. Her hues tend toward greenish yellows, orange-reds and sharp greens composing textured forms, which intrigue and confound.

Carol Wisker

Carol Wisker has lately been constructing actual, physical assemblages, notably in her series “War Games,” but she also creates trippy, paint-splattered flux paintings, as well. Many of the objects she works with are arranged in boxes or boxlike frames, and range from feathers and fabric to gears and metallic, industrial patterns.

There are plenty of other talented artists in this group, but not enough space here to cover them all individually. Visit the Assemblage website to see work by the other members Zola Bryen, Wanda Chudzinski, Kathe Chapman Grinstead, Sheila Letven, Lesley Mitchell, Elaine C. Nettis, Brigitte Rutenberg, Charlotte A. Schatz, Eleanor Schimmel, Marion Spirn and Pam Taggart.