September 14–October 23, 2016
Opening reception: Wednesday, September 14, 6–8 PM
For immediate release:
Rawson Projects is proud to announce its second solo show with Leah Beeferman. The show, titled Cold Color, will include five unique new works: four digital c-prints and one dye sublimation print. Combining photographs and scans of objects made in remote locations over the past year with digital drawing, these new works continue to explore the artist’s interest in the intersections between physical landscapes, image-making, space and surface, and the virtual.
Leah Beeferman was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award to research in Finland later this fall, and will be releasing her first artist’s book, Triple Point (Lodret Vandret, Copenhagen), in September.
An interview between the gallery and the artist follows:
Rawson Projects: First, I just want to say that I'm really excited to be showing this new body of work. Since our show last year, you did a residency in Ireland, and will be heading to Finland later this fall to complete a Fulbright. I know you have worked in Finland before, so how does working in such different and specific places influence your work? In other words, is the formal quality of your work a function of the places where you happen to be working?
Leah Beeferman: Yes, definitely— my experiences in these different places really do guide a lot of the decisions I later make in the work. I have over-arching interests and concerns which guide my practice, such as emptiness and density, information and abstraction, digital and “real.” But, within that framework, the work grows pretty directly out of my experiences. On the most basic level, the landscapes that I photograph become visual materials to work with and respond to, so that process is always a little bit different. But my formal and conceptual decisions— specifically the larger ideas about how a piece is going to be constructed or composed— are direct translations of my experience in a place, and what I’ve learned about it.
For example, I made most of Spectrums 1, one piece we are showing, while I was in Ireland earlier this year. The residency was in the south, right on the Cork Harbor. I spent a lot of time looking at the water, and thinking about this meeting point between a body of water and a body of rock— a point where two different elemental materials interact and overlap to form the more conceptual space of a coast or a shore, especially of a small rocky island out in the Atlantic. I wanted to translate that set of dualisms into a piece.
I tend to work in series, though, so I will sometimes take ideas which developed out of one place and see how they can interact with images from another— and then see how those new images, in turn, further develop the original idea. This becomes a way to link these disparate places together, to find connections between them, and about to think about place more abstractly.
RP: I am curious about the three vertical works in the show (titled Monodynamics 2 & 3 and Shores 2). I noticed that the two Monodynamics works were mostly made with a scanner, while in Shores 2 you appear to be using both camera and a scanner. Can you also tell me a little about the titles for these works and how they relate to the title of the show, Cold Color?
LB: The Monodynamics pieces grew from an idea I've been working on for a while: to make incredibly dense images which are, in a sense, opposites of the pieces with solid digital-color backgrounds that I was making last year (the Strong Force (Chromodynamics) series). I've been using standard commercial flatbed scanners to scan rocks for several years; I’m drawn to the clarity of detail in some areas of the images, and the digital distortion in others. To focus the density of visual information in these particular works, I decided to hone in on one color of rock from a landscape. This impulse came while making scans of black Icelandic rocks and sand in 2014; it then played out using scans I made last fall of this nearly colorless mineral, called selenite, that a friend showed me growing in the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Chromodynamics is a term from physics, but also has such a funny relationship to color. So in a way, Monodynamics is a play off of both the titles of and ideas behind that older work— but is also meant to engage the “dynamics” of a single color, even black or almost-white.
For Shores 2, I wanted to keep working with the water and rock pairing that I talked about in context of Spectrums 1. I wanted to continue to explore the solidity of water in photographic form, as a “background”, and to see how this solidity registers in relation to scans of rocks. The title relates to my thinking about coasts, but is also meant to invoke a spatial, and ever-changing, landscape.
Cold Color is a play on “cold colors”: blues, blue-greens, and purples. I recently came across that term, having not considered it in context of this work. I thought it would be funny to use it as a title for the show because there are almost no cold colors in any of these pieces. I liked that the title would then suggest other possibilities of what “cold” would mean. Clearly I have an affinity for cold, northern places, but I think Cold Color refers to more than just that.
RP: I also really want to talk about your new publication Triple Point. Did the process of making an artist book change the way you look at your work? How did the idea to do book come about and why did you decide do it?
LB: Triple Point was originally inspired by a minor volcanic eruption that happened in Iceland in 2014, called Holuhraun. I was pretty obsessed with the eruption, watching it on webcams over the internet from New York. The following year, I made some work using video from Holuhraun that I found on YouTube, and color-shifted blue. After using this crazy abstracted, digitally-artifacted lava, I wanted to see what I else could do with it, specifically in terms of image-making. A book made sense; as a rule, I don't use found images in my c-prints, so they find their homes in other forms, which tend to become more discrete conceptual projects. A sequence of video stills works naturally in book-form, and I became really interested in the process of translating these images and colors from digital (RGB) space into an offset-printed (CMYK) object. I've always made other types of artworks: videos, sound pieces, and web-based pieces, for example. Digital prints, like the ones included in Cold Color, have become my focus lately— but it's important to me to make more isolated works in other formats, like Triple Point, as conceptual companions.
Leah Beeferman is a New York City-based artist. She has had solo exhibitions at Rawson Projects, NY. Recent two-person and group exhibitions include Klaus von Nichtssagend, NY; Bass & Reiner, San Francisco; Fridman Gallery, NY; Ditch Projects, OR; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Tyson, Cologne; and Toves, Copenhagen. Residencies include LMCC Workspace, NY; The Arctic Circle, Svalbard; SIM, Reykjavik; Sirius, Ireland; and Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago. Publications include Triple Point, an artist book published by Lodret Vandret, Copenhagen. Beeferman received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BA from Brown University. She will travel to Finland this winter on a Fulbright Scholar Award, during which she will have a solo exhibition at Sorbus, Helsinki. She co-runs Parallelograms, an ongoing artist project.
For more information please contact the gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212 256 0379