Since the early 1980s, Marsha Pels’ labor-intensive sculptures and installations have explored female sexuality, war, and politics. Although Pels’ autobiography often serves as the catalyst for creation; her mysterious and sometimes threatening evocations of the figure and its’ necessities/functions manage to be open-ended metaphors with a strong material presence.
The figure is often represented in absence through quotidian objects such as shoes, gloves, and jewelry; or signifying violence and protection; such as gas masks, guns, life vests and buildings. When the body does make an appearance, it is often eviscerated in the form of bones and organs.
Each body of work calls for a radically new relationship to material through the transformation of found objects. Pels transubstantiates the autobiographical, cultural and political concerns of a specific time period into a distinct series of psychologically charged sculptures.