Mapping Absence (Trophy Mounts), Cast plastic, sewn vinyl, sheet acrylic, deer hair Installation dimensions variable (each unit 36 x 24 x 23 inches), 2007–2010.
Flora of Fauna, Porcelain, 21 x 21 x 5 inches, 2013. [photo: Millyard Studios]
Palace Purebred (Objects of Desire), Porcelain, glaze, gold leaf, brass chandelier parts, steel chain, spray paint, shadows, installation dimensions variable - Includes 3 hanging units (largest unit 83 x 30 x 30 inches), 2014.
Christina Pitsch is a mixed media artist working in installation, sculpture and printmaking. Her work is a hybrid of materials and techniques driven by larger conceptual questions of cultural iconography and gender identification. Frequently her work uses animals (and fragments thereof) to tell stories about the complexity of relationships.
Through her work Pitsch investigates her interest in gender stereotypes present in American cultural icons and activities; the deer began as the iconic trophy of hunting and has shifted over the years as she continues to reference it. "I have always seen it (deer) as something that is quintessentially masculine: the trophy, the reference to hunting culture, the readability of the antler rack as a masculine symbol/indicator while at the same time the gracefulness of the forms feel very feminine. The delicacy of the deer skeleton suggests femaleness, strong yet delicate, swift and graceful." Conceptually her work hinges on dichotomies as a starting point: masculine versus feminine, beautiful versus macabre, absence versus presence.
In the most recent work porcelain deer hooves reference a hunter's trophy and a fragmented animal form. A fragment can be an object taken out of context, or an allusion to the remaining whole; it acts as a way of speaking to a memory, a loss, or something more elusive. Unlike the rack of a prize buck, deer feet are less valued, hoping at best to become a gun rack or lamp base. Pitsch explores a different way of thinking about the delicacy and nobility of this detritus through material and context. "I think back to the rabbit's feet we used to have as children. We fetishized these trinkets, never registering how truly grizzly this all was. They were these captivating, soft furry objects that were in reality a severed limb. My most recent work is a tribute to my invented 'lucky deer hoof'. A constructed world inspires all my work; in this world these pieces are both salacious thoughts and the lucky rabbit's foot I hook in the loop of my jeans."
A primary methodology in the work is the use of multiples. It is through working with multiples that she pursues an understanding of objects and ideas, internalizing the form and ultimately becoming intimate with the object as it is reproduced. Layers of meaning peel back, as the process becomes a meditation in repetition.
An avid traveler, Christina has had the opportunity to work and teach around the world. When not traveling by land and sea she works from her studio in New Hampshire. Pitsch received her MFA from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
still life, August 31-October 2, 2016
I Know Just What You're Saying, January 6-31, 2016
Al Miner Selects: All Natural Kathleen Gerdon Archer, Mary Lang, Greg Lookerse, Christina Pitsch, September 2-27, 2015
Fancied, July 1-August 2, 2015
"Christina Pitsch Experiments with Ceramics at the European Ceramic Workcentre. Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, October 7, 2015.
"All Natural: A Conversation with Al Miner." Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, September 4, 2015.
Al Miner Selects: MFA Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art Conceptualizes a Kingston Members' Exhibition.
"Christina Pitsch: All that is Lovely and Fine." Kingston Blog, Thinking About Art Out Loud, July 4, 2015.
Christina Pitsch Brings Drama and Complex Beauty to Kingston with Fancied.