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Path to Paradise: panel IV

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Child Bride

2001
20 x 38 in. (50.8 x 96.52 cm)

Judith Schaechter
American

Object Type: Glass
Medium and Support: Stained-glass panel
Credit Line: Collection of Nanci Porten and Paul Gutermann
Accession Number: EX2020.DG1.39
Location: Currently on view
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Schaechter elevates transgressions of appropriate female decorum to high art. Here, the artist shows a young girl in a beribboned dress and veil, lying on the floor and violently vomiting up a puddle of flowers. In contrast to the traditional wedding night ritual, Schaechter’s panel depicts a deflowering of a different kind, playing on the association between female and nature and complicating the consummation between male and female.

Schaechter takes the personal—her thoughts about her own upcoming nuptials at the time—and makes it universal. The artist was influenced by her friend Susan Hagen’s Green Woman sculpture, a variation on the Green Man—an ancient art historical motif of a man’s face made of greenery and leaves that sometimes sprout from his mouth. Such archetypal figures continue to appeal to Schaechter for their power to carry universal human concerns across time and space.

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