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Roberley Ann Bell (b. 1955), element from the installation, NO, 1991; found object, plaster, and dry pigment, 17 3/4 x 13 7/8 x 8 3/4 inches; The M&T Bank Collection at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1996

Roberley Ann Bell (b. 1955), element from the installation, NO, 1991; found object, plaster, and dry pigment, 17 3/4 x 13 7/8 x 8 3/4 inches; The M&T Bank Collection at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1996

This sculpture is just one piece from a large-scale installation at the Soho Center for the Visual Arts in New York in 1991. Roberley Bell imbedded cast-off domestic objects—all associated with holding water—in malignant gray forms which together spelled the word NO, measuring 9 feet high by 22 feet across. Throughout history, vessels have been associated with the female body and women’s role in society. The installation combined this symbolism with concern for society’s careless mistreatment of the environment resulting in excess waste and pollution. — NW