Virginia Maksymowicz (b. 1952, New York City) is a sculptor who lives in Philadelphia. PA. In 1973, she received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, where she studied with Lucas Samaras. In 1977, she earned an M.F.A. in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, where she worked with Allan Kaprow, Eleanor Antin, and Newton and Helen Harrison. She has exhibited her work at the Michener Museum, the Franklin Furnace, Alternative Museum and Grey Gallery in New York City, as well as in college, university and nonprofit galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad. In 1984, she was a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in sculpture, and over the years has been honored with numerous other grants and awards. Her artwork has been reviewed in The New York Times, New York Newsday, The New Art Examiner, Sculpture Magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her series, The History of Art, appears on the cover of The Female Body, published by the University of Michigan Press. Her sculpture was recently featured in Amtrak’s National magazine.
Maksymowicz has been a visiting professor of art at a variety of colleges and universities throughout the United States including Oberlin College in Ohio, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. She is currently Professor Emerita of Art at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
For more than 40 years, Maksymowicz has been developing a type of imagery that addresses cultural and political issues in a nontraditional, but understandable, form. The artworks she creates are “readable” on multiple levels (often using humor as a “hook”), containing esthetic and historical references familiar to trained artists as well as real-life issues of importance to nonartists.
A hybrid of sculpture and painting, the work is usually displayed as wall relief, with figures or objects often juxtaposed with narrative texts. The primary media are handmade paper, Hydrostone and Hydrocal FGR 95.
Maksymowicz has a particular interest in feminist issues and she often focuses on the particular circumstances of a range of women, both in past history and in current times. Her most recent work explores the link between the human body and architecture, and considers the metaphorical implications of the female body, especially when tied to place — buildings, fountains and other structures.