FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
William Holman and Inas Al-soqi
Wednesday, September 9 – Saturday, October 10, 2015
NOTE: Artists Reception: Wednesday September 16 – 6.00 to 8.00 PM
NEW YORK, August 11, 2015 - William Holman Gallery is pleased to present a second major exhibition of Rebecca Bird’s new paintings and watercolors which explore the aesthetic ideal of symmetry in abstract forms, landscapes, floating geographies and waterscapes.
The works in Symmetry challenge our visual understanding of landscape and space as images that impose rationality (North is up) and subjectivity (foreground/background) on nature. Bird has twisted the visual language of the landscape using ‘double’ and ‘mirror’ images to evoke mystical imagery and scenes from memory, cultural traces of Niagara Falls, and vast imaginary floating islands. The remarkable realism of her draughtsmanship renders many of the works as readable ‘places’ but they are also unsettling, surreal and reveal traces of anxiety. The viewer becomes completely engaged in composition and detail – but is never completely secure about where she ‘stands’ in relationship to the work.
Descent, (72 x 72 inches) is an exquisite and surreal landscape painting in which hundreds of gaudily colored discarded shoes spill over the dusty walls of a crumbing Egyptian building in a composition based on Rembrandt's Descent from the Cross. The sumptuary painting of the shoes suggests the brief life of consumer goods, while the indistinct urban setting suggests the obscure final destination of discarded products. The missing half of the story appears in Sour Grapes, 2015; a New York storefront full of plastic fruit, packaging and display.
The watercolors, some wonderfully intimate, depict physically impossible places: remote islands surrounded by waterfalls and small planets where water flows both up and down. Using techniques that marble the actual paper with liquid ink baths, and layer on top of that watercolors and graphite that do not tolerate errors; these are masterworks of art on paper as well as beautiful studies in color and perspective. The imaginary landmasses and waterfalls signify constructed realms of safety. The implausibility of these spaces suggests the impossibility of complete security. These spaces are the artist's own defined interpretations of ‘place’: such as heaven or home.
Rebecca Bird is a painter, printmaker and animator. She was born in Washington State. Bird received her BFA from Cooper Union in 2000. She studied traditional Japanese painting as a 2001 Fulbright Fellow to Japan. Her works are in private and public collections in the US and abroad, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center as well as the Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Residency. Her work has been reviewed positively in Whitewall magazine, ArtSlant and the Huffington Post. The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation for the work in this exhibition.
Please join us for the artists opening reception on Wednesday, September 16 from 6 – 8 p.m.
The exhibition runs from September 9, through October 10, 2015.
For more information on the gallery’s exhibition schedule, images, and a checklist to the exhibition please visit http://www.wholmangallery.com/exhibitions/.