(drawing of Statue of Liberty and other female figures)

Dublin Core


(drawing of Statue of Liberty and other female figures)


A pencil drawing consisting of a series of figures set against a mix of large curvilinear and geometric shapes, some solid, some striped, and areas of negative space formed by the white of the paper. The figure at the farthest left is that of a woman in long dark flowing pants and sleeveless and collarless, dark blouse, standing on a portion of a sailboat. To her lower right is a young girl with tousled hair, wearing a blouse which reveals her breasts. The rest of her form appears to also be nude but is partially obscured. The figure of the woman and that of the girl are repeated at the center left of the work, but are there are differences. The shading of the depiction of the woman is done with more contrast. The young girl's nude body is almost entirely visible. The next figure to the right looks to be another repeat of the young girl except that her head is bent forward, supplanted by a composite overlay of two other heads, both of which are bald and somewhat androgynous. A small cupid like figure stands in front of this three-headed figure, obscuring its foot, and holding some sort of floral element. To the right of the three-headed figure is a large parrot. In front and to the right of the parrot are two separate renderings of the Statue of Liberty. The left of these two figures seems less finished, while the one on the right has darker areas of shading obscuring part of its face. The figures all enjoy some level of distortion and overlapping which helps to create a dynamic and enigmatic composition.
Gemma Rossini Cullen (1937-2004) was born in Saint Paul, MN. She received a B.A. from the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in 1960 and an B.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1969. She became a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet in 1955 and exited in 1967. She married Walter Cullen in 1969. The couple had two children, Enrique and Tonya, and remained married until her death in 2004. Gemma's work includes large-format paintings and drawings. It routinely depicts women, nature, architectural elements, and abstract forms, at times with an emphasis on repetitive morphing or mutating imagery, and an incorporation of negative space. Like many women were emerging from the Catholic religious community in the 1960s, Gemma was questioning the ways in which the church had marginalized the role of women within its community in the past and, as an ex-sister, exploring new versions of what it meant to be a woman in the present and going forward. In Gemma's case, this meant exploring creating art for women. Gemma was influenced in her exploration by the writings of Carl Jung and his exploration of global cultural histories and archetypal realities. The archetype [and transformation thereof] Gemma was most interested in was that of the Goddess, and she explored this subject in many of her works. As she continued to evolve as an artist, her interest in metamorphosis grew, and she would eventually create a number of successful drawings depicting this concept. In 1992 Rossini Cullen founded her own company, Business Graphics Network. She worked there until 2004 in graphic design, sales, and production. She was a founding member of the Women's Art Registry of Minnesota (WARM) Gallery from 1976 to 1987. Rossini Cullen's domestic exhibitions included venues at the College of St. Catherine, North Hennepin Community College, and Minneapolis Community College, the WARM Gallery in Minneapolis, and the McCrae Gallery at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico. Her work is part of collections throughout the United States including Gila Regional Medical Center, Silver City, University of Minnesota Law School, Saint Joseph's Hospital, Saint Paul, Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Federal Reserve Bank, Minneapolis, Dorcy Marquart Law Firm, Minneapolis, and Cardiac Pacemaker, Inc., Saint Paul. Gemma also produced a major suite of drawings for two books, Coulee Deep, poems by Lois Sindelar, Extended Exposure Press, 203, and Twin Cities Perceived, text by Jean Adams Ervin a study of words and drawings, published by University Minnesota Press, 1976. 1,2(Erickson, Elizabeth. (2009). Gemma: Tales of Change. Saint Paul, MN: St. Catherine University.)


Gift of Rossini Cullen Family Estate




pen and ink
21 x 27 inches







Rossini Cullen, Gemma, “(drawing of Statue of Liberty and other female figures),” Digital Collections From St Kate's, accessed May 27, 2024, https://omeka.reclaim.stkate.edu/items/show/3569.

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