Last Look


Mark Morosse

Mark Morosse

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Judith Shea witnessed the destruction of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, from lower Manhattan. For Shea, as an artist, it was an experience that merged horror and spectacle: “It was visually so magnificent—the scale. And you never dreamed of such a thing.”

Shea, who has long been interested in the shapes and materials of fashion, was also struck by the Brooks Brothers storefront that faced the towers. Like her, like other passersby, and like the rest of the world from afar, the mannequins in the window appeared transfixed by the devastation above. They inspired Shea’s deeply personal “Legacy Collection” project of 2009, from which these sculptures, currently installed in the Yale University Art Gallery’s front window, were drawn. (Starting August 26, they will be part of the gallery’s Remembering 9/11 exhibition.)

At left is the pair “Shock and Awe”; at right, “Twins.” The pieces are crafted from bronze, clay, foam, and industrial felt. They are an expression, says Shea, of the experience of the attacks and their aftermath, and of the ways in which horror, news, and marketing so often overlap in our culture.

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