Exhibitions-Archived

Selected Works

Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mangold, Bruce Nauman, Ged Quinn, Gary Simmons, Fred Tomaselli

January 20 - March 31, 2014

Roy Lichtenstein
Two Paintings: Green Lamp
1984
Woodcut, lithograph, screenprint, and collage on Arches 88 paper
38-11/16 x 53-1/16 inches
Edition of 60

Revisioning History

Drawings and Prints by Pablo Bronstein, Vija Celmins, Saul Chernick, Bruce Conner, Joseph Cornell, Carlos Garaicoa, Butt Johnson, William Kentridge, Lucy McKenzie, Grayson Perry, Ged Quinn, Andrew Raftery, Kara Walker

October 4 - November 27, 2013

Grayson Perry
Map of Nowhere (blue)
2008
Etching
60-1/4 x 44-1/2 inches
Edition of 15

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to present Revisioning History, an exhibition of works on paper by artists who work across traditional and historical formats to create contemporary narratives. Appropriating styles employed by earlier practitioners, these artists bring contemporary vision to the centuries-old art of engraving, as well as techniques borrowed from the decorative arts, illustration, and old master painting and drawing.

The show is organized around three themes: political commentary; architecture and design; and allegory and surrealism. Artists such as William Kentridge (b. 1955, Johannesburg, South Africa) and Kara Walker (b. 1960, Stockton, CA) create pointed commentary on the injustices of apartheid and racial oppression, embracing respectively the satirical styles of Daumier, Goya, and Hogarth, and Victorian illustration and cut-paper silhouette techniques. The hyper-detail and graphic expertise of Butt Johnson (b. 1979, Suffern, NY) and Andrew Raftery (b. 1962, Goldsboro, NC) couch each artist’s critiques of technology and consumer culture. Their imagery is characterized by a jarring dissonance between traditional styles and techniques and contemporary subject matter. Raftery draws inspiration from Claude Mellan, a 17th-century engraver who formed images and evoked tone using parallel lines of varying densities. Grayson Perry (b. 1960, Chelmsford, England) also uses the seductive qualities of recognizable art forms to make stealthy comments about societal injustices and hypocrisies. In his monumental etching, Map of Nowhere, the artist works from the template of the medieval mappa mundi (map of the world), specifically the Ebstorf Map, which depicted the Christian worldview within the body of a crucified Christ. Perry’s version is rife with allegorical references to the artist’s plural sexual identities and witty allusions to current social, political, and economic themes.

Three artists in the exhibition address social and historical themes through the depiction of architecture. Lucy McKenzie (b. 1977, Glasgow, Scotland) makes paintings, drawings, and installations that underscore the intersection of fine art with the applied and decorative arts traditions. McKenzie questions utopian ideas of the past and symbols of power in works based on 20th-century avant-garde painting, poster design, and elements from architectural design. Pablo Bronstein (b. 1977, Buenos Aires, Argentina) also approaches his interest in Regency and postmodern architecture through a wide range of media – from drawing, sculpture and installation to performance. One of his key interests is the expression of institutional power through architecture, and the ability of architectural structures to inform social behavior and customs. Carlos Garaicoa (b. 1967, Havana, Cuba) addresses Cuba's politics and ideologies through the examination of modern architecture. His works are charged with provocative commentary on issues such as architecture's ability to alter the course of history, the failure of modernism as a catalyst for social change, and the frustration and decay of 20th-century utopias.

Other artists in the exhibition employ historically mimetic styles for allegorical purposes. Vija Celmins’ (b. 1938, Riga, Latvia) re-creation of a 19th-century Belgian map, Amérique, presents an outmoded geographical representation of the New World. Her combination of media and her exquisite rendition of the temporal obscure the line between realism and conceptual representation. Ged Quinn (b. 1963, Liverpool, England) specializes in allegorical paintings that include contemporary images (generally on controversial topics in Western cultural history) in idyllic scenes based on classical paintings such as the pastoral works of Claude Lorrain and Caspar David Friedrich. Saul Chernick (b. 1975, New York City, NY) mines the legacy of Northern Renaissance artists such as Hans Baldung Grien and Albrecht Dürer, while Bruce Conner (b. 1933, McPherson, KS; d. 2008, San Francisco, CA) and Joseph Cornell (b. 1903, Nyack, NY; d. 1972, New York, NY) drew inspiration from 19th-century book engravings. Their imagery seems as much a realization of these artists’ greatest fears—eroticism, death, chaos—as homage to their moralizing iconography.

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday 11am-6pm. For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker at 212-213-6767 or at gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

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Surface Tension

Drawings and Prints by Tauba Auerbach, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner,
Robert Mangold, Julie Mehretu, Robert Nickle, Edda Renouf, Robert Ryman 

June 20 – August 8, 2013

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Edda Renouf: Drawings 1998-2011

April 12 - June 8, 2013

Visible Sounds #2
1999
scraped oil pastel on Arches paper
20 x 19 3/4 inches

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to present Edda Renouf: Drawings 1998-2011, the artist’s first one-person exhibition in New York since 2002. A painter celebrated for chromatic minimal paintings and drawings of delicate intimacy, Renouf was born in Mexico City in 1943 and educated in New York. With her husband, composer Alain Middleton, she has resided in Paris since 1991.

Working in New York during the years 1968-1991, Renouf developed as an artist against the backdrop of minimalism, whose emphasis on the essential unity of pure geometry is both evident in her pictorial vocabulary, yet disavowed by her intuitively lyrical sensibility and inspiration in nature as metaphor. Her study of forms present in nature is alluded to in titles such as Open Field and Autumn River, as is her frequent use of blues, grays, ochres, siennas, and other earth tones. Another theme is that of music and sound, or in the artist’s words, “making the invisible visible” with the repetition of lines of similar and varying length, direction, and proximity. Renouf works in cycles or series in which she explores various materials and techniques, as well as specific colors and formats.

Attracted by the organic materiality of raw linen and paper, Renouf, through the process of removing threads from the warp and weft of canvas, and incising and scoring lines into pigment and paper, allows her materials to reveal their inherent structure rather than superimposing an image upon them. First layering her pigments on paper, the artist subjects the surface to erasures and rubbing, incisions with a sharp needle, and/or the scraping away of pigment. The drawings thus become in the artist’s words, “a record of the days, weeks, months, and seasons in which they were created becoming a journal of my working process...”

Renouf attended universities in America, France, and Germany. She earned her B.A. in 1965 from Sarah Lawrence College and in 1971 her M.F.A. from Columbia University. In 1997, Renouf was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe, Germany and more recently, in 2004, at The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Both exhibitions were accompanied by full-length catalogues. Her work is found in the numerous public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; the British Museum in London; and the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, among others.

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday 11am-6pm. For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker, at 212-213-6767 or at gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

Dan Flavin / Donald Judd: Sets / Series

February 8 - March 30, 2013

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to present Dan Flavin/Donald Judd: Sets/Series, featuring rare print portfolios which illuminate differences and similarities between two artists who enjoyed a friendship and conceptual kinship spanning over thirty years.

Printmaking’s complex, mechanical, and collaborative processes perfectly suited the Minimal aesthetic, which sought to relinquish evidence of the artist’s hand through the creation of serial images. A heightened awareness of printing techniques and their unique visual possibilities led Minimalist artists, including Flavin, Judd, Sol Lewitt, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, among others, to accentuate the physical properties unique to prints. Both Judd and Flavin embraced and emphasized the negative space and edges of the paper as well as the distinct surface qualities of printed ink.

Donald Judd’s exploration of woodcut, a medium offering an unmodulated flat surface, began in 1960 and continued to the year before his death in 1994. This exhibition includes Untitled 1991-94, a set of four woodcuts printed in black on Japanese paper, as well as an earlier suite of sixteen line etchings from 1977-78 more clearly related to Judd’s plywood and steel sculptures of the period. Each image depicts a volumetric box, identical in scale but unique in format.

Best known for his fluorescent light installations, Dan Flavin was also an avid draftsman and printmaker. Working at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles in 1987, Flavin created a series of seven lithographs on a variety of handmade papers, each a single color: red, pink, yellow, orange, blue, green, and red-violet. Sharing the same title, To Don Judd, Colorist, of a cycle of sculptural works of the same year, the prints’ coloration refers not only to the fluorescent hues of Flavin’s work, but also to an under-recognized aspect of Judd’s sculpture: color.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday 11am-6pm. For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker, at 212-213-6767 or at gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

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Afterimage: The Prints of Bruce Conner

September 20 - November 17, 2012

From SET OF SEVEN (Image 707)
1970-71
Offset lithograph
22 ½ x 16 ½ inches (57.2 x 41.9 cm)
Edition of 50

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, in collaboration with the Conner Family Trust, is pleased to present Afterimage: The Prints of Bruce Conner, the first exhibition of the artist’s work at the gallery. Conner, who passed away in 2008, was born in McPherson, Kansas in 1933 and moved to San Francisco in the late 1950s where he became a pivotal figure in the Beat scene of poets, writers, artists and performers. Active in all media, including painting, collage and assemblage, sculpture, graphic arts, filmmaking, and photography, Conner brought a radical and iconoclastic approach to art-making, questioning and rejecting ideals of artistic purity, style, and identity, as well as the market-driven dynamic of the art world. 

The show, accompanied by an on-line catalogue with an essay by Peter Boswell, will include lithographs Conner produced in 1970-71 to preserve the imagery of his ephemeral felt-tip drawings of the period, as well as later prints based on ink blot drawings and collages. 

Linking the artist’s extensive graphic oeuvre to his work in other media is a command of light and shadow that permeates images hovering between fugitive and eternal, fantasy and reality. The retinal effect of his starkly monochromatic drawings of the 1960s and 1970s is achieved through the use of densely woven lines, creating highly complex shifting patterns. Formally rigorous, these maze-like drawings negate external references and dissolve figure/ground boundaries. Often structured by circular mandala forms, they attest to the artist’s deep knowledge of occult and Eastern philosophies. Conner’s immersive felt-tip drawing process took on a performative aspect as the artist spent continuous hours making them, never lifting pen from paper in order to produce a graphically uninterrupted line.

In 1970, concerned about the fugitive nature of his felt tip drawings, Conner initiated the meticulous reproduction of the images at Kaiser Graphics, a commercial printer in Oakland, California. Believing hand-drawn and inked lithography interfered with the precision of his imagery, the artist chose a commercial offset process, flouting print world conventions by using photomechanical rather than fine art printing.  The process, however, allowed him to amend flaws in the original drawings and create improved compositions. This led to the production of some one hundred prints, from small, single sheets to suites of up to twenty-five related panels (titled SET OF THREE, SET OF FOUR, etc.). The sequential relationship between one drawing and another - the unfolding of form to form - is preserved to great effect in the thematic organization of the print portfolios.

In the mid-1970s and continuing sporadically for the rest of his career, Conner produced inkblot drawings of startling variety and innovation: grids of small, calligraphic shapes executed by blotting small puddles of ink between the folds of accordion-pleated sheets of paper. Totemic and enigmatic, these rows of symmetrically arranged patterns read as documents scripted in a mysterious language. 

Drawings and prints of later years are credited to “Anonymous” and “Anonymouse”, two of several alter egos invented by Conner to manipulate the idea of artistic identity and authorship. Images inspired by nature, Leaf September 11-December 7, 2001, and Dark Leaf, relate to elegiac drawings the artist made in response to the 9/11 attacks. Other prints relate to film projects or collage pieces, such as BOMBHEAD, originally conceived as a collage and later transferred and produced as an inkjet print. An outlier in the exhibition, the imagery harkens to Conner’s groundbreaking films of the 1970s such as Crossroads, 1976. 

Conner’s work has been included in many major group exhibitions, notably the 1961 pioneering show The Art of Assemblage at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Recent exhibitions include Bruce Conner: The 1970s at the Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria in 2010 and Bruce Conner and the Primal Scene of Punk Rock, MCA Denver, Denver, Colorado 2012.  In 2000, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis organized a wide-ranging exhibition of Conner’s work entitled 2000 BC: The Bruce Conner Story, Part II, which traveled to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. His work is included in the collections of many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker, 
at 212-213-6767 or at gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

Thomas Nozkowski: New Editions and Related Drawings

April 26 - June 16, 2012

Untitled #2
2012
aquatint and woodblock on paper
21 7/8 x 27 5/8 inches

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to present its second exhibition with Thomas Nozkowski, comprised of the artist’s strikingly complex new print editions accompanied by hand-colored proofs and a suite of graphite drawings. The ensemble of these related images sheds light on the integral connections between the artist’s drawings, paintings on paper, and printmaking endeavors.

For over thirty years, Nozkowski has practiced his own form of idiosyncratic abstraction, foregoing a signature style or subject matter in favor of seemingly limitless variations in form and nuanced color. Though the artist claims his images are drawn from the everyday world and personal experience, their literal sources are obscured, leaving only the faintest suggestion of the familiar. Like artist forbears Jean Arp, Paul Klee, and often Joan Miro, Nozkowski works on an intimate scale particularly well suited to works on paper` whose detail and variation are demanding of the viewer’s focused study. 

Drawings are often revelatory of the artist’s decision-making process and permit experimentation not always apparent in paintings on canvas. Nozkowski employs a wide range of materials on paper, including graphite, colored pencil, ink, crayon, gouache, and oil singly or in some combination. They form a distinct body of work within his oeuvre, not as studies for paintings but as tangential lines of thought offering the artist different paths and intentions perhaps begun in painting but often existing independently of it.

His new printmaking project, completed long distance over the past year with Doris Simmelink and Chris Sukimoto of Simmelink/Sukimoto Editions in Olympia, Washington, is a substantial addition to Nozkowski’s printed oeuvre which, since 1990, now totals over forty five print editions. These are his most complex to date, entailing the printing of as many as 11 plates and woodblocks carrying up to 53 colors to arrive at a final, single image. Beginning with an oil on paper, the collaborating printer prepares a plate holding an elemental background and figure, the first proofs of which serve as a framework for the artist’s subsequent revisions and additions. Nozkowski draws upon and hand-colors these early proofs to develop new images to be translated again into etching, aquatint and woodcut. In the intaglio process in particular, the artist alters these initial matrices by adding further plates and colors, but also by burnishing and scraping away sections of the image on the plate—a process he uses continually in paintings on canvas, which undergo countless revision in the artist’s studio. From the mutability of this hand-coloring process arise multiple images which then develop into series or sequences of editioned images.

Thomas Nozkowski was born in 1944 in Teaneck, NJ and resides in New York City and High Falls, New York. Most recently his work was the subject of a major survey organized by Marc Mayer at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. In 2007, Nozkowski’s works were included in Robert Storr’s exhibition at the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind – Art in the Present Tense. The artist’s work is included in numerous public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, among others. He will exhibit new paintings at The Pace Gallery Gallery in fall of this year.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For further information, please contact gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

Text as Image: Mel Bochner, Graham Gillmore, Glenn Ligon, Bruce Nauman, Gary Simmons

February 17 - March 31, 2012

Mel Bochner
No 9
2009

Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to announce Text As Image, opening February 16th and featuring works by Mel Bochner, Graham Gillmore, Glenn Ligon, Bruce Nauman, and Gary Simmons. The exhibition includes works in diverse media united by the use of language as a visual art form. 

At the heart of Mel Bochner's (b. 1940) artistic practice lies the examination of the relationship between the idea behind a work and its physical manifestation. Sputter is a luscious impasto of oil paint on velvet from the artist’s Thesaurus series, wherein each painting starts with a word at the upper-left corner of the canvas and is succeeded by a list of synonyms borrowed from Roget's Thesaurus. Throughout the painting, the synonyms gradually devolve into colloquial, and often vulgar, slang terms for the original word, revealing Bochner's interest in the ability of language to break down over time. Glenn Ligon (b. 1960) is best known for his landmark series of text-based paintings, which draw on the writings of diverse figures including Jean Genet, Zora Neale Hurston, Jesse Jackson, and Richard Pryor. Using black oil stick and stencils in his drawings, Ligon methodically covers the picture surface by repeating a specific sentence or phrase. In his etching diptych, Untitled, the text “Negro Sunshine” taken from a 1909 novella, Melanctha, by Gertrude Stein about a mixed-race woman, is interrupted by a simulated flash or burst of light on its surface, impeding its meaning and legibility. 

Ludwig Wittgenstein's writings on language have been an important influence on Bruce Nauman’s (b. 1941) work, shaping his interest in the way words succeed or fail in referring to objects in the world. Nauman's work, which often contains comic or absurdist touches employing jokes and word play, also touches on obsessive behavior and aggression. Represented by two early works printed at Gemini GEL in Los Angeles, NO, 1981 and Violins/Violence, 1985, Nauman makes reference, respectively, to the gestural brushstrokes of the abstract expressionist tradition and its negation by the artist, and the written and aural similarities of two words with very different connotations. 

Text allows Graham Gillmore (b. 1963) to maintain a narrative thread while using non-figurative imagery. His works are intuitively built from fragments of personal and public utterances and confessions, in a fluid, organic style where disparate block letters are bound and tied by the thinnest of lines and multiple colors. His images are screenprinted and hand-colored against backgrounds of used ledger paper whose scribbles hold their own narratives, alluding to the ultimately fragmented and sometimes disconnected nature of human experlence. 

Gary Simmons (b. 1964) creates lush, monochrome surfaces on which the subject, often text drawn from American mainstream culture, is displayed in contrasting white paint. In two new aquatints produced at Paulson Bott Press, the image references Jack Nicholson’s famous scene in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, “all work and no play, make Jack a dull boy”, in which the character obsessively types the sentence on endless reams of paper. In Simmons’ works, the words stream across the paper in smudged, partially erased letters, as though in the act of dissolution. Erasure of the cliché, in this case, the ideal of work/ leisure, dullness/ goodness, and perhaps even the act of art making itself, conveys the artist’s concern with overlooked meanings and the way popular culture impacts behavior and memory. 

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For further information, please contact gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

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January: Selected Works

Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mangold, Jason Martin, Elizabeth Murray, James Nares, Elizabeth Peyton, Jessica Stockholder, Robert Therrien, Andy Warhol, William Wegman  

January 5th - February 11th, 2012

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Alex Katz: Figure / Ground

Selected Editioned Works 
September 16 - November 5, 2011

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Elizabeth Peyton, Andy Warhol: Icons and Idols

June 2 - July 15, 2011

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn), 1967 screenprint on paper, 36 x 36 inches
Edition of 250

Elizabeth Peyton, Prince William and Prince Harry
2000, color lithograph 24 x 19 inches
Edition of 350

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to present Elizabeth Peyton, Andy Warhol: Icons and Idols, an exhibition of prints that showcase the artists’ divergent approaches to portraiture. Playing upon our culture’s fascination with celebrity, both artists chronicle ever-shifting definitions of beauty and sexuality, success and vulnerability, and the blurring of public and private domains. Featured are Warhol’s iconic turquoise Marilyn Monroe, 1967, and dazzling portrait of a young Elizabeth Taylor (Liz) from 1964, as well as Peyton’s fluid, idealized portraits of pop stars Eminem and Sid Vicious, artist Robert Mapplethorpe, and a young John F. Kennedy, Jr., among other personal idols.

 

While both artists adhere to the use of photographs, their fundamental approaches differ widely. The photographic source, often publicity photos or headshots, remains visible as the underlying form in Warhol’s portraits, while for Peyton the photo, following its compositional contribution, is deliberately obscured. Peyton looks for more candid records of her subject’s intimate inner life, while Warhol’s subjects are consumer products, depicted with depersonalized colors, and flat and off-register silkscreen printing techniques. Peyton may share Warhol’s fascination with beauty and star quality, but her pictorial affinities are less Hollywood glam than English aestheticism, with its tradition of portraiture reaching back to the late 18th century. Like her paintings, Peyton’s prints merge the subjective beauty and individuality of her subjects with the formal characteristics and exquisite expressive potentials of etching, lithography, and ukiyo-e woodcut.

 

For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker, at 212-213-6767 or gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.


Vija Celmins: Prints and Works on Paper

February 4 - March 26, 2011

Amerique, 2009

Internationally known for her intensely realistic paintings and drawings, Vija Celmins has worked in the print medium since the early 1960s, meticulously rendering details of the natural environment through a careful exploration of process and mark making. While her work reveals an engagement with the natural world manifested throughout art history, Celmins’ approach to these enduring subjects is the result of a modern sensibility. Derived from photographs rather than direct observation—"the photographs are the subject matter," Celmins has said—her images dispel romantic notions of nature's sublime while retaining an inherent elusive mystery and poetic resonance.  

Printmaking is, in its most traditional sense, a vehicle for monochromatic image making and therefore ideally suited to Celmins work. Her body of prints evolved naturally from her virtuoso drawing skill, specifically the graphite drawings of galaxies, ocean surfaces, and desert floors which found new expression in her lithographs of the 1970s, and later the intaglio techniques of mezzotint, etching, woodcut and wood engraving which she continues to employ today. The exhibition features recent editions such as Star Field, a luminous night sky dense with stars, Amerique, an illusionist recreation of an antique map in color aquatint, and Web 5, a filmy mezzotint of a spider web. Also featured is a rare set of four mezzotints created for a 1985 artist’s book, The View, with poems by Czeslaw Milosz and Ocean Surface Wood Engraving from 2000. A selection of drawings will be exhibited alongside the printed work. 

Vija Celmins was born in Riga, Latvia in 1938 and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1948. She received her MFA from UCLA in 1965 and moved to New York in 1980. She has been the subject of numerous international museum exhibitions, including a solo drawings show at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, in 2001 and a print retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in 2002. The Centre Pompidou, Paris, organized a drawing retrospective in 2006, which traveled to the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in 2007. More recently, Celmins was the subject of a solo exhibition in November 2010 at the Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, entitled, “Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster,1964-68” including 16 paintings and painted objects, which will travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In April 2011, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany, will open an exhibition of Celmins’ prints and drawings entitled, “Wüste Meer und Sterne (Desert, Sea and Stars)” which will travel to the Louisiana Museum, Humlebæk, Denmark. A retrospective of Celmins’ paintings, drawings, objects and prints is scheduled for 2013/14.

For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker,
at 212-213-6767 or gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

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William Wegman and Fay

Polaroids 1987 - 1995

November 11 - December 24, 2010

Fay Ray, 1990, Color Polaroid, 24 x 20 inches

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to announce William Wegman and Fay: Polaroids 1987-1995. The exhibition, opening on the 25th anniversary of Fay Ray’s birth, features more than eighteen Polaroids documenting the remarkable artistic collaboration between the artist and his four-legged muse. All of the photographs were selected from the artist’s archives and have never before been exhibited.

In 1979, Wegman, who had been working in video and small-scale black-and-white conceptual photography, accepted an invitation from Polaroid to work with their new 20 x 24 format camera. Designed to produce life-sized portraits of amazing clarity and detail within an instant, the large camera offered spontaneity, scale, rich color, and the possibility of creating serial images, thereby engaging Wegman and his dogs from Man Ray, Fay Ray, and her progeny for the next three decades until the company’s financial demise in 2009. Polaroid’s restricted production of film material coincided with the artist’s move towards digital photography beginning in 2002. 

The format of the Polaroid camera forced the artist to think in terms of its vertical frame, a compositional challenge he met by elevating Fay on pedestals and furniture, draped in cloth, or wearing gowns and costumes. These shots developed into a number of hybrid human/animal characters reflecting the widespread impulse in these years toward narrative portraiture, as seen also in the work of Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons. Present in the Polaroids as well as in his paintings, drawings, and text-based work, is Wegman’s postmodern preoccupation with the work of other artists: Arcimboldo, Picasso, Donald Judd, and Eadweard Muybridge, to name a few. Perched on wood cubes, decked with fake fruit, or seen in profile like a Renaissance Florentine dowager, Fay, as animate raw material, provided a foil and inspiration for Wegman’s daring and hilarious subversions.

William Wegman’s photographs, videotapes, paintings, and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Numerous traveling retrospectives of Wegman's work have been organized over the past three decades, among them Wegman's World, which opened at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis in 1981, and William Wegman: Paintings, Drawings, Photographs, Videotapes, which opened at the Kunstmuseum, Lucerne in 1990 traveling to venues across Europe and the United States including the Pompidou Center, Paris and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 2006, the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts organized Funney/Strange, a comprehensive retrospective of the artist’s work that traveled to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, and the Wexner Center, Columbus, Ohio. 

For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker, at 212-213-6767 or gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

Ellen Phelan: Kenjockety, Digital Pigment Prints

September 15 - October 30, 2010

Hollyhocks
2008
digital pigment print
46 x 34 inches

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to open the fall season with Ellen Phelan: Kenjockety, a series of digital pigment prints on view from September 15th-October 31st. In this body of work Phelan turns her attention to specific sites in the Adirondack region of Lake Champlain that have long provided inspiration for her paintings and watercolors and where her summer studio is located.

Although her work of the 1970s is firmly based in conceptual abstraction, Phelan is best known for both her plein-air landscapes and evocative portraits of dolls begun in the early 1980s which she continues to develop to this day. The formal genesis of her work is inspired by classical sources such as Corot, Turner, and Whistler, artists whose mastery of atmospheric tonality and luminosity lies close to her own sensibility.

While Phelan bases her work on intense observation, she also relies upon her own photographs, generally old Kodachrome slides or prints, which provide the foundation for the images in the Kenjockety Series. The photographs were enlarged and hand-colored with washes of varying opacity; these were then scanned and printed on 34 x 46 inch sheets of Somerset Velvet paper at Laumont Studios in New York. Pigment printing allows for rich color saturation and enhances Phelan’s understated palette. While certain images, such as Autumn Garden and Hollyhocks retain their photographic basis, others like Summer Late Morning and Blue Trellis II are suffused in an ambient blur that leaves them barely decipherable. Phelan’s blending of the particular and the abstract, the actual and the imagined, create a delicate tension. The artist says of her work, “I was never interested in gesture for its own sake. I was and still am more interested in gesture that arrives at form. In other words, what you’re doing is making marks on a surface, and without this exploration of different ways of trying to make this tension exist between image and object, it would otherwise fall into the convention of naturalistic space.” 

Ellen Phelan, born in Detroit in 1943, resides in New York. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Fogg Museum of Art, Cambridge, MA; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Mexico City among others. 

Gallery hours: Tues-Fri. 10am-6pm; Saturday 11am-6pm. 
For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker, at 212-213-6767 or gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

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Hecate's Lab

Polly Apfelbaum, Tauba Auerbach, Amy Cutler, Julie Mehretu, Sarah Morris, Laura Owens, Elizabeth Peyton, Ruth Root, Amy Sillman, Jessica Stockholder, Lisa Yuskavage

June 17 - August 16, 2010

Amy Cutler
Cake Toss
2004
lithograph
21 3/4 x 24 inches

HECATE A Greco-Roman goddess associated with transformation, magic, and crossroads.   

Senior & Shopmaker is pleased to present an exhibition of printed works by eleven notable women artists who have developed concepts in printmaking that have equal weight and validity with those previously perceived only in the artists’ primary medium.  

Printmaking, like alchemy, can be described as an alternative chemistry. Transmuting base metals into gold is a good description of what goes on in a print shop, where zinc and copper plates are magically changed into matrices for prints. Like alchemy, the true goal of making prints is more significant than merely making gold, as fortuitous as that would be. The aim of the contemporary printmaker, like the medieval alchemist, is to use material transformations to extend the boundaries of her oeuvre and probe the nature of image making. If the artist plays the role of magician, the printmaking studio and master printers provide her with a laboratory and accessories for experimentation.  

The majority of the eleven artists in the exhibition – all painters and sculptors - began their forays into printmaking only within the past decade. To date, some, including Tauba Auerbach, Sarah Morris, and Amy Sillman, have chosen to explore a sole medium in depth, ie., intaglio or screenprint; others, namely sculptors Polly Apfelbaum and Jessica Stockholder, depart from traditional techniques to incorporate a range of unorthodox materials and processes in their printed work. Elizabeth Peyton and Amy Sillman employ the liquid washes of soft-ground and spitbite aquatint to appoximate the painterly effects of their canvases, while Julie Mehretu, Amy Cutler, and Lisa Yuskavage use the same media to emphasize the primacy of drawing in their large-scale work. Printmaking provides a fertile crossroads where diversity of intent, means, and method have their coalescence.  

For further information, please contact Betsy Senior or Laurence Shopmaker, at 212-213-6767 or gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.

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