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Mollie Goldstrom

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By borrowing specific instances in human and natural history, and themes from science, literature, and myth, Goldstrom strives to reproduce mutable actualities as narrative etchings and drawings. She depicts alternate realities built by human error and misunderstanding of the natural world and ecological systems. 

The formal garden appears in Goldstrom’s work as a recurring theme and backdrop. With its many constraints, it presents an orderly vision of a world in which every element is understood and arranged according to rules of geometry, optics, and perspective. As a microcosm of a world that is full of contradiction and chaos, the garden merely holds a mirror to human yearning, a futile striving for impossible perfection.

In her featured series of eight hand-colored intaglios titled “If I miss, I miss but a little” she uses as a primary text 17th century polymath Charles Butler’s The Feminine Monarchie, a practical treatise on beekeeping that also contains an eccentric transliteration of tone pitches produced by bees into a four-part madrigal.  Goldstrom finds relevance in Butler’s projection of a very human system (musical composition) onto something innately non-human (the buzzing of bees) as a means of attempting to understand and translate it. Butler’s musings are made poignant by their juxtaposition with contemporary references to Colony Collapse Disorder, the cause of the honeybee’s recent rapid decline.

Goldstrom weaves complex, overlapping issues into a storyline that appears approachable because the visual references and symbols are common to us. When brought together into one of her etchings, a story unfolds that has its’ immediacy, yet the inferences are so much more.

Mollie Goldstrom received an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa in 2013, and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008. She completed a residency at AS220 in Providence Rhode Island in 2012, the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, MA, in 2013, and will be an AIR at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE in winter, 2014.