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Anton Kern Gallery: Ellen Berkenblit | Back Room : Anne Collier - 17 Jan 2008 to 23 Feb 2008

Current Exhibition

17 Jan 2008 to 23 Feb 2008

Hours : Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 6 pm
Anton Kern Gallery
532 West 20th Street
New York, NY
New York
North America
p: 1 212.367.9663
f: 1 212.367.8135

Ellen Berkenblit, Shetland Pony,2007
Oil on linen, 81 x 63 inches
Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery,NY
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Artists in this exhibition: Ellen Berkenblit, Anne Collier

Ellen Berkenblit
January 17 – February 23, 2008

New York-artist Ellen Berkenblit’s third one-person exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery presents a body of black-and-white paintings with the recurring image of a girl in profile. Berkenblit uses this figure as a formal anchoring or starting point to build up densely layered paintings in a wide range of black, white and grey tones

“This girl is the incarnation of seeing and feeling, with big saucer eyes, and fat hands that hang in front of her like fleshy tools poised to grasp. She too is tense with a cluster of affect: anxiety, amusement, desire, shame, wonder. Her mouth is an astonished O and her eyebrows are tilted in uncertainty. She sees and feels something off the edge that is not pictured, perhaps something unsayable; you sense the proximity of trauma or spooks. Her characters exist within an embrace of off-register painting gestures: blotches, patches, scumbles, wipe-outs. Positive and negative spaces interlap. Colors puff up, then go slack. Shapes spill inside other shapes and obscure them. Background vaporizes into foreground. Center spills against outline; inside destabilizes outside; past folds into future.” (Amy Sillman)

A catalog book with texts by Joan Tewkesbury and Amy Sillman will be available.

Ellen Berkenblit’s work has been shown at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY (2004), the Tucson Museum of Art (2005), and recently at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2007). She has exhibited in galleries in Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome and throughout the United States.

Anne Collier
January 17 – February 23, 2008

December 20, 2007—For her first one-person exhibition in New York, Anne Collier has assembled a concise body of photographs depicting familiar objects (such as a sunset poster, a stack of albums, or magazine covers) rephotographed in the artist’s studio. Recognizable as slightly out-dated relics from a recent past, Collier transforms the evocative charge of the original images into visual contemplations on such eternal topics as the meaning of pop culture, the outward appearance (or the “look”) of emotions and sentiment, and the mechanics of the gaze.

In preparing these photographs, Collier culls from an archive of almost obsolete and nearly timeless paraphernalia (record covers, film stills, photo magazines, as well as music-, hippie-, and political posters). Placed against a neutral background, these items are shot with a 4x5 plate camera and always printed slightly smaller or larger than life.

For example, the poster of an ominous black-and-red sunset is pinned against a marked-up white wall and placed above a black carpet that create the illusion of a horizon yet also define the concrete visual space of Collier’s intervention. Blemishes are exposed and create the historical difference of re-contextualization. It feels as if in her photographs Collier turns the volume down to zero, and by slowly turning it back up, she exposes all the markings of time and personal history that transform a sentimental image (of say, free love, peace, and liberation) into one of analytical and emotional strength.

Most recently, Anne Collier’s work has been seen in the 2007 Whitney Biennial . Collier has exhibited in galleries in London, Madrid, Berlin, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is currently preparing two solo shows for 2008 at the Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver (January 2008) and at Open Eye, Liverpool (March 2008). Anne Collier was born in Los Angeles and currently lives and works in New York.

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