Fecund Constructions



“The [Fecund] series alludes to Outlaw’s concern about the growing distance between technological advances and the bioethics field.”  —  Excerpt from Rebecca Dimling Cochran’s review of Outlaw’s show Witches Brew at Whitespace Gallery for Art in America p 102-103, Oct. 2011

“Imitating the fecundity of nature, Outlaw displays a stunning variety of breast-like forms from her Fecund Series, each distinctive in shape and in material: one in crimson velvet, another in fur, yet another bearing a “skin” of crocheted yarn, and on and on. … Some of the “breasts” reveal miniature mirrors which reflect the viewer’s own eye, suggesting a tantalizing glimpse into the psyche. ….”  —  Excerpt from Dorothy Joiner’s review of Outlaw’s exhibit Witches Brew at Whitespace Gallery for World Sculpture Magazine, Vol. 17, No 4, 2011

“There is something distinctly naughty, a bit off-putting, occasionally Un Chien Andalou-scarifying about Outlaw’s work in Witch’s Brew. The art evokes kaleidoscopes or panoramic sugar eggs, if Louise Bourgeois and Martha Stewart got together for a craft session….”  —  Excerpt from Felicia Feaster’s review of Outlaw’s exhibit Witches Brew at Whitespace Gallery for Creative Loafing AtlantaMay 27, 2011

“Looking into the peepholes requires a level of surrender on the part of the audience; you must place your eye – an incredibly vulnerable and important body part – up against objects and imagery that may or may not threaten your sense of security. … Bait, one of the elongated sculptures, protrudes from the wall, grabbing your attention with its bright red fur coat and studded tip. The work, however, is not as playful as it seems. The interior of the deceptively long body is cluttered by several dozen pins pointed menacingly towards the eye. While peering inside, my natural inclination was to take a step back. Angled mirrors on the inside make it appear that you would be able to see through the body of the entire sculpture, but the visible space hardly reaches more than a few inches from the eye. The title Bait sent a little shiver down my spine as it reminded me of the way an anglerfish would lure its prey in the ocean depths. There is something truly sinister about this exhibition.”  —  Excerpt from Laura Chance’s review of Outlaw’s exhibit Witches Brew at Whitespace Gallery for Burnaway, May 5, 2011

We’ve all seen robots in science fiction movies and TV: WALL-E, Data from “Star Trek,” Robbie the Robot. As technology has advanced and robots and science have progressed, artists are now taking hold of many of the ideas of science fiction and science reality, asking questions about the future of the world. …   Several of the artists in the show [Artificial Selection] are in tune with the darker sides of technology and the moral dilemmas that they bring, such as genetic engineering. The possibilities for modified animals and humans is endless, and many of the artists in “Artificial Selection” have created fantastical creatures that conceivably could be created. But, they ask, should they be created?  —  Dan Mayfield, Future Shock: ‘Artificial Selection’ exhibit at 516 ARTS imagines what is yet to come from science, technology, Albuquerque Sunday Journal, 4/18/2010

“… The most literal connection to [18th century pharmacist Albertus Seba’s] The Cabinet of Curiosities tradition is in Adrienne Outlaw’s sculptures attached to the wall, fitted with lenses and mirrors, and functioning as viewfinders and microscopes. Their external appearances are a funky range that includes industrial pipe, animal horn, crochet, feathers, plastic and glass. Look inside each little eyehole and a surprise greets you. It could be your own eye, a cluster of barnacles, nuts, fur or insect wings. They’re precious little microcosms….”  —  Excerpt from Lennie Bennett’s review of Cabinet of Curiosities at DFAC for St. Petersburg Times, 9/2009

“… Adrienne Outlaw’s Fecund Series is prodigal … [her] pieces deal with living, with birth, with life succored or death averted, and most require the viewer to put eye to peephole to see what’s going on. What is seen, sometimes, is the reflection of one’s own eye, but the intense inventiveness of nature appears to be the subject, conjured up by a most inventive artist.”  —  Excerpt from Jane Durrell’s review of Projections: Manifest Gallery, for Sculpture Magazine, p. 76, 1/2009

“… As if peering through a microscope at her constructions, viewers are reminded of the scientific impulse to study, change and perfect. Are Outlaw’s fragile forms the result of such yearnings taken too far for the creatures involved, or would nature’s fecundity have developed these beautiful but untouchable forms anyway?”  —  Excerpt from Ruth McDougall’s essay for the Under the Skin exhibition at Translations Gallery, Denver, CO, 6/2007


The Fecund Series explores ethical issues stemming from the rapid advancement of biotechnologies – issues such as artificially sustaining those in persistent vegetative conditions; terminating abnormal fetuses; and using non-human cells to treat disease. To explore these ideas in the studio, I manipulate and assemble natural materials with manmade products. I work with scientists to select movies showing the latest advancements in biophysics and I make videos of intimate maternal scenes. I place the works in anthropomorphic specimen cases so that they can be seen but not touched. Some pieces are fun, elegant and beautiful; others are marred by the recombination process. Viewers become participants when they peer inside a piece and see their reflection.