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Laurie Anderson to Exhibit Paintings in NY for First Time; Named EMPAC's Inaugural Distinguished Artist-In-Residence

  • Thursday, May 10, 2012
    Laurie Anderson to Exhibit Paintings in NY for First Time; Named EMPAC's Inaugural Distinguished Artist-In-Residence

    Laurie Anderson's Boat, the first exhibition of the artist’s paintings in New York, will be presented at the Vito Schnabel gallery starting this Saturday, May 12, and running through June 23, with an opening reception this Friday evening. On display will be a new series of paintings that bring the scale of the theater onto the canvas. The show also includes a video installation, From the Air, in which Anderson has created a three dimensional holographic reality. A series of drawings titled Lolabelle in the Bardo depicts the forty-nine day transition described in The Tibetan Book of the Dead as the period between death and rebirth.

    "Painting is like improvising in music. Making these big gestures feels like playing the violin," says Anderson. "So many of my projects lately have become screen based or extremely theoretical. I wanted the physicality and scale of painting. Making paintings is the closest I’ve come to making songs. Even though they take up a lot of room I love them as unwieldy things. Much of my work comes from the theater world where sets are enormous. In fact, these paintings seem a bit on the small side."

    Anderson describes From the Air, a series of video projections, as her "solution of how to put narrative and timing into three-dimensional imagery." Boat, she explains, "is about the body: the body dissolving, the body making marks, the body on a very small scale, drawing and erasing the body. I could have called the show Body instead of Boat but that wouldn’t have suggested the way we manage to float in the middle of a vast shifting place."

    A catalog with texts by Lou Reed, Anne Carson, and the artist will accompany the show. For additional details and images from the exhibition, go to vitoschnabel.com.

    ---

    This week also brings another significant recognition of Anderson's work: she has been named the first-ever distinguished artist-in-residence at EMPAC, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The residency provides Anderson with access to space, technology, and support for creative experimentation and brings her into ongoing dialogue with students and faculty at Rensselaer.

    Laurie Anderson first came to EMPAC as a resident artist in 2009 to complete work on Delusion, a complex series of stories about longing, memory, and identity commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Elements of the piece are featured in Anderson's latest album, Homeland, released on Nonesuch Records in June 2010. At EMPAC, Anderson was able to try new ideas and integrate the diverse, multidisciplinary elements of the work, including music, visuals, altered voices, and electronic puppetry. Based on the success of the extensive working relationship between Anderson and EMPAC, founding Time-Based Arts Curator Kathleen Forde and Director Johannes Goebel proposed this new opportunity.

    "It's such a great honor to be the first distinguished artist-in-residence," says Anderson. "Working with the crack technical and production teams and having access to EMPAC's spectacular spaces and resources is such a dream. I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity."

    The distinguished artist-in-residence is an expansion of EMPAC's project-based residency program, which supports the creation of new works and research. It marks the first time an artist has been invited for an extended time unrelated to a specific project, with the express goal of sharing the artist’s creative practice with a technology-focused campus and the community through lectures, work in progress demonstrations, web documentation, workshops, and more.

    Says Goebel: "With EMPAC, Rensselaer has made an incredible commitment to bridge new technology with new artistic development and to bring together the engineering and scientific world with the experiential and creative approaches of the arts. Laurie Anderson will bring her deeply rooted experience in using technological tools in her artistic work to the campus community."

    For more information on EMPAC and the inaugural distinguished artist-in-residence, go to empac.rpi.edu.

on May 10, 2012 - 4:13pm
Excerpt: 

Boat, the first exhibition of Laurie Anderson's paintings in New York, will be presented by Vito Schnabel starting this Saturday, May 12. On display will be a new series of paintings that bring the scale of the theater onto the canvas. The show also includes a video installation, From the Air, and a series of drawings titled Lolabelle in the Bardo. This week also brings another major recognition of Anderson's work: she has been named the first-ever distinguished artist-in-residence at EMPAC, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer.

Copy: 

Laurie Anderson's Boat, the first exhibition of the artist’s paintings in New York, will be presented at the Vito Schnabel gallery starting this Saturday, May 12, and running through June 23, with an opening reception this Friday evening. On display will be a new series of paintings that bring the scale of the theater onto the canvas. The show also includes a video installation, From the Air, in which Anderson has created a three dimensional holographic reality. A series of drawings titled Lolabelle in the Bardo depicts the forty-nine day transition described in The Tibetan Book of the Dead as the period between death and rebirth.

"Painting is like improvising in music. Making these big gestures feels like playing the violin," says Anderson. "So many of my projects lately have become screen based or extremely theoretical. I wanted the physicality and scale of painting. Making paintings is the closest I’ve come to making songs. Even though they take up a lot of room I love them as unwieldy things. Much of my work comes from the theater world where sets are enormous. In fact, these paintings seem a bit on the small side."

Anderson describes From the Air, a series of video projections, as her "solution of how to put narrative and timing into three-dimensional imagery." Boat, she explains, "is about the body: the body dissolving, the body making marks, the body on a very small scale, drawing and erasing the body. I could have called the show Body instead of Boat but that wouldn’t have suggested the way we manage to float in the middle of a vast shifting place."

A catalog with texts by Lou Reed, Anne Carson, and the artist will accompany the show. For additional details and images from the exhibition, go to vitoschnabel.com.

---

This week also brings another significant recognition of Anderson's work: she has been named the first-ever distinguished artist-in-residence at EMPAC, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The residency provides Anderson with access to space, technology, and support for creative experimentation and brings her into ongoing dialogue with students and faculty at Rensselaer.

Laurie Anderson first came to EMPAC as a resident artist in 2009 to complete work on Delusion, a complex series of stories about longing, memory, and identity commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. Elements of the piece are featured in Anderson's latest album, Homeland, released on Nonesuch Records in June 2010. At EMPAC, Anderson was able to try new ideas and integrate the diverse, multidisciplinary elements of the work, including music, visuals, altered voices, and electronic puppetry. Based on the success of the extensive working relationship between Anderson and EMPAC, founding Time-Based Arts Curator Kathleen Forde and Director Johannes Goebel proposed this new opportunity.

"It's such a great honor to be the first distinguished artist-in-residence," says Anderson. "Working with the crack technical and production teams and having access to EMPAC's spectacular spaces and resources is such a dream. I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity."

The distinguished artist-in-residence is an expansion of EMPAC's project-based residency program, which supports the creation of new works and research. It marks the first time an artist has been invited for an extended time unrelated to a specific project, with the express goal of sharing the artist’s creative practice with a technology-focused campus and the community through lectures, work in progress demonstrations, web documentation, workshops, and more.

Says Goebel: "With EMPAC, Rensselaer has made an incredible commitment to bridge new technology with new artistic development and to bring together the engineering and scientific world with the experiential and creative approaches of the arts. Laurie Anderson will bring her deeply rooted experience in using technological tools in her artistic work to the campus community."

For more information on EMPAC and the inaugural distinguished artist-in-residence, go to empac.rpi.edu.

Publish date: 
Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 09:30
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featuredimage: 
Laurie Anderson: "Boat," 2012

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