Jane Brucker is an artist whose work combines an avid interest in profound, often arcane points of history with an affection for imbuing ordinary objects with stories and emotional resonance. Brucker is known for the nuanced arrangement of found objects with wood, textile, metals and especially glass to express complex, symbolic narratives spanning personal and broader social history. Her exhibition at Judson Studios has been extended through February 15.
“Fragile Thoughts,” the recent 25-year survey of her work at the Long Beach Museum of Art, explored these themes, especially through an examination of Brucker’s long-term project, referenced in the overall exhibition title. The sculptural installation Fragile Thoughts focused on early–20th century public health and Elizabeth Milbank Anderson. Anderson’s unique story formed a touchstone for Brucker’s full range of poetic mixed-media narratives, and in fact the museum took the project’s name as the overall exhibition title.
This singular sculptural work itself is a quietly monumental piece — a circle of vintage chairs decorated with portraits, texts and motifs expressing the biography and scientific contributions of Anderson. These unique individual pieces, however, are built for beauty, not comfort. They feature elaborate stained-glass components made in collaboration with Judson Studios — which tonight will install the work for viewing, and also host a conversation between the artist along with physiologist Dr. Jeremy Wasser, a historian of medicine, regarding the inspiration and execution of this important work of art.
Judson Studios, 143 Pasadena Ave., South Pasadena. (Please note: The talk takes place at Judson Studios' new second location); Wednesday, Jan. 9, 6-8 p.m.; free. UPDATE: The exhibition has been extended through Friday, February 15.