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Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Garis & Hahn Presents: Zoë Buckman, "Present Life Past Dreams," A solo exhibition (New York)
Garis & Hahn Presents:
Zoe Buckman, Untitled 6 (Present Life), 2013, Neon, 70 x 40 In. Edition of 3
Present Life Past Dreams
A solo exhibition of work by Zoë Buckman
Exhibition Dates: February 25, 2015 - March 28, 2015
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 25th | 6-8pm
Garis & Hahn is pleased to announce the opening of Present Life Past Dreams, a solo exhibition of sculpture, photography, embroidery and site-specific installation by British artist Zoë Buckman. Present Life Past Dreams
will feature Buckman’s on-going series of the same name, which the
artist began in 2011, along with several new works from 2014. The
gallery will host an opening reception at 263 Bowery from 6:00PM to
8:00PM on Wednesday, February 25, 2015.
Present LifePast Dreams is a collection of works that
explore the liminal space between life and death and other cycles of
genesis and decay. Photographs of floral arrangements just past their
prime, reliefs depicting the placenta as life-giver and potential taker,
and neon-illuminated sculpture investigate temporality. Buckman adds
breadth to these works by capturing the nuance of natural sequences on
the cusp of their transition from one state to the other—from
non-existence to existence and back again–rather than focusing on the
finality of their outcome.
This intention to capture an intermediate state is clear in Buckman’s
photographs of week-old flower arrangements wrapped like bodies in black
plastic trash bags. These works are described as “the start of the
end”; the time when “the flowers are still beautiful but have begun
their descent.” At first glance, the bouquets look lovely, but the large
scale of the works allow the viewer to become intimately acquainted
with the markers of decay: the browning edges of an iris in Untitled 2; the wrinkled petals of a sunflower in Untitled 4; and the curling edges of the roses in Untitled 5. The photographs can be seen as a celebration of life and beauty, but also as a memento mori, a visceral warning of the inevitability of death and a call to cherish our limited time before it.
Buckman furthers her exploration of beauty and fragility in life through neon light sculptures in her works Untitled 6 and Untitled 7.
For Buckman, creating sculpture with neon is akin to painting; it
allows her to create broad, gestural strokes in brilliant and alluring
hues. Untitled 6 is a six-foot geometric, neon outline of an
hourglass that illuminates in pure white light, alluding to time and the
shape of the female form. Untitled 7, a representational
drawing of a placenta in salmon pink neon light strikes a more playful
tone. Buckman began using the placenta as a symbolically significant
object after she gave birth to her first child in 2011; the impetus for
the Present Life Past Dreams series after learning that her
placenta had started to deplete. In light of this revelation, she became
fascinated with the duality of the placenta: an organ that nurtures
life but can just as easily extinguish it.
Buckman extends the image of the placenta in two other works. In Untitled 8,
the viewer can make out a placenta as an imprint in concrete slabs
developed from photographs. The imprints map out the boundaries of the
organ, simultaneously building and deconstructing the form of the
placenta at the same time. In Untitled 9, the viewer is
confronted with the artist’s own plasticized placenta seated in a convex
marble frame, a presentation typically reserved for religious icons.
Newer works in the series include hand-blown sculptural hourglasses, and
several pieces using heirloom lace adding a dimension of nostalgia to
Buckman’s exploration of life, death, fragility and beauty. The threads
of the lace connect the viewer to the intricate web of blood vessels and
cells that make up the placenta, and floral patterns of the lace
simplify the organic bouquets in Buckman’s series of photographs.
Buckman has taken her own hand to these pieces, a veil suspended in the
window of the gallery, and a lace shawl draped delicately over a
standing lamp, embroidering them with fragmented text taken from her
vivid dreams about mortality.
This exploration of the artist’s dreams, the ultimate ‘in-between’
space, is elaborated in a site-specific installation at Garis &
Hahn. Using a table runner from her grandmother’s vintage lace
collection laid on a heavy wooden farm table, the artist invites
visitors to engage in her dreamscape by sitting at the table and reading
text pulled from her dreams, which she has embroidered on the length of
the runner. Adorning the table are groupings of small, hand-blown glass
ornaments also inspired by dreams. An audio track of her family’s
Sunday dinner plays from one end of the table, from the other the sound
of the ocean. There is sand on the floor, as if the sand from the
hourglasses in the main room of the gallery have tipped out and trickled
down into the subconscious layer of the exhibition. The symbol of the
family table is the physical place that connects past with present,
where stories from the living convene with the memory of ancestors past,
and embedding the piece with the celebratory and corporal nature of a
feast, be it with our mouths, eyes, or imaginations.
About the Artist
Zoë Buckman (b.1985, Hackney, East London) lives and works in New York
and is represented by WEBBCREATIVE. Her work has been shown in group
exhibitions including New Abstraction at Leila Heller Gallery; Contemporary Spotlight:TEXT, Paddle8; the Hidden Gems Project for Christies, exhibited at The Getty Images Gallery, London, and Small Is Beautiful, a group show at Flowers Gallery in East London. Buckman presented the first installation of Present Life at PULSE Projects, New York in May, 2014.
About Garis & Hahn
Garis & Hahn is a gallery-cum-Kunsthalle that mounts exhibitions
focused on conceptual narratives and relevant conversations in
contemporary art. By displaying an array of carefully curated artists,
the gallery endeavors to provide accessibility, education, awareness,
and a market to the art while engaging both the arts community and a
broader general audience.
Garis & Hahn
New York, NY 10002
F. 917.720.9851 firstname.lastname@example.org