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Gaza Bowen is an internationally known sculptor who has exhibited extensively since 1978. In the broadest sense her work is an inquiry into the non-verbal communication between people and objects. For nearly twenty years she focused her attention on shoes: their construction, history, cultural meaning, and social significance. She has been taught shoemaking since 1983 and has now retired.

In 1995, supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council, Gaza stepped away from the shoe idiom and began exploring the relationship between the personal and the political, building mixed media sculptures based on childhood memories.

From1997 to1999 she continued her investigation into how the history of use becomes indelibly etched into the fiber of matter and how those traces of memory evoke meaning in the viewer. This work culminated in Bibliotheca Memoria, a library/reading room installation of books and furniture built from salvaged materials.

Her use of detritus as art material led her to an artist-in-residency at the San Francisco dump in 2000. Her final project from this four month residency is the Waste Not/What Not Catalog pictured on this website. She has produced many artist’s books including Red Shoe Reader and The Secret Game.

Gaza Bowen’s work is included in many private and public collections including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; The Getty Center for Art and the Humanities and The Norton Family Foundation, Santa Monica, California; Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia and Duetsches Schuhmuseum, Offenbach am Main, Germany.


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