Monday, June 15, 2009
Hollywood Depicted in Needlepoint and Lace: a new project by Amelia Bauer
Opens Thursday July 23rd, 7 pm
Amelia Bauer’s work considers ways in which the decorative arts throughout the history of western civilization have attempted to organize the chaos of the natural world. The pieces in her newest show entitled STILL reflect that tendency, while also examining the coinciding romanticization of, and fascination with violence. In STILL, Bauer presents a peculiar kind of rubble: a pile of pillows on the gallery floor. Each pillow in the pile uses needlepoint to photo-realistically depict a different car explosion scene from a Hollywood movie. Handkerchiefs line the walls of the gallery. In each handkerchief, a cinema-derived scene of defenestration is rendered in lace.
The movie stills Bauer has chosen to translate into needlepoint and lace are pulled from varying film genres--from romantic comedy to horror--produced between 1948 and 2009. Significantly, all of her sources are American productions. These bright flowering explosions and shards of shattering glass are the decorative elements that bejewel so many Hollywood films. The natural impulse to violence is depicted in cinema as glamourous decoration. The Hollywood machine is America’s own decadence of empire. The artworks in STILL resonate between an homage to this decadence and a mourning place for the fictional victims within these stories.
Amelia Bauer is a Brooklyn based artist born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has been living in New York for the past 12 years, excluding a ten-month working vacation in Seattle in 2005. She is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and received her BFA with honors from the School of Art at The Cooper Union. Her work has been exhibited at Capricious gallery in Brooklyn, the Swarovski Crystal Palace at Art Basel Miami, Helen Pitt Gallery in Vancouver B.C., CCA Santa Fe, the Center on Contemporary Arts in Seattle, American Fine Arts in New York City, New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts, Miami Museum of Art, and National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution. Her drawings have been published in The New York Times, the Believer and Warrior Magazines, and several McSweeney’s publications.