RECENT PHOTOGRAPHS AND PAINTINGS
Exhibition: 14 Mar – 28 Apr 2012
Nohra Haime Gallery
500 West 21st Street
NY 10011 New York
RECENT PHOTOGRAPHS AND PAINTINGS
March 14 – April 28, 2011
EVE SONNEMAN: RECENT PHOTOGRAPHS AND PAINTINGS, an exhibition comprised of 17 diptych color photographs from the series Eve Sonneman’s La Côte d’Azur and 7 oil paintings, will be on view at the Nohra Haime Gallery from March 14th through April 28th.
Playing with the idea of cinematic vision, making diptychs of action taken seconds apart, Sonneman records the fleeting glimpses of daily life in the French Riviera. Basing her subjects on chance encounters, she prowls the streets alert and ready to pounce. As she catches her subjects off-guard, hoping to be invisible, she uses her camera to capture the ephemeral, passing moment. Whether recording and juxtaposing images of bathers conversing casually, people going about their daily errands, sailboats cutting through the Mediterranean, a shop window front, or simply a quiet public beach, Sonneman constantly reminds us that time itself is always arriving and departing.
In Femme de Chambre en Rang, 2012, the artist captures a shop front, with miniature and featureless dummies and superimposed reflections. The first frame captures the reflection of the artist staging the picture, as a vehicle passes behind her. In the next frame, the artist has moved in to take a close-up of the window. The mannequins grow larger and more dominant. Dressed in black and white with French inspired maid uniforms, the standing dolls strike graceful poses. A new car emerges in the reflection; this time heading the opposite direction, while a passer-by calmly strolls along the sidewalk and out of the picture. It seems as if the outside world is pushing its way through the glass into the mannequins’ own wonderland. The effect is eerie and uncanny.
Like her photographs, elements of repetition and chance dictate Sonneman’s oil paintings. But instead of reacting to the real world moving around her, she responds to the fantasy of her own mind. Her approach is systematic without being premeditated.
Initially inspired by the tiny glistening grains in a jar of caviar, Sonneman presents the viewer with unlimited variations from the repetition of round patterns. The mode she achieves is essentially a kind of controlled chance that results in tranquil and meditative abstractions.
Sonneman usually begins by covering the canvas with a solid color, while leaving some areas of the linen surface visible. Using a small brush, she starts at any point with a tiny ring and begins to obsessively fill the canvas with a web of rhythmically repeating orbs. In this manner, she allows herself to be guided by the mood evoked by the colors found in nature.
In A Pure Diet of Breath and Morning Dew, 2003, fields of white spheres float serenely next to each other on a sand colored background. Two vertical and undulating trails of blue orbs that run along the length of the canvas interrupt the sequence of rhythm and space. Referring to the moment immediately after waking up, the artist’s intent is not to create a recognizable image but to convey emotions. The enigma and climate of this composition is left for the viewer to discover.
Eve Sonneman, an artist of international renown, was born in Chicago. She has exhibited widely throughout the world, and has had 85 one-person exhibitions. She has participated in the 1977 Documenta and in the biennales of Venice, Paris, Strasbourg and Australia. Her work is represented in thirty-five museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Centre George Pompidou, Paris, the National Gallery of Australia, among others. She has published seven books, the most recent being “La Ville Écrite,” by Éditions du Centre Pompidou. Sonneman currently lives and works in New York City.
DATES: March 14 – April 28, 2011
RECEPTION FOR THE ARTIST: Tuesday, March 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.