House Gallery is pleased to present Nesting, an exhibition of new photography by Brooklyn-based artist Joelle Jensen. The exhibition features a series of large-format photographs that hover on the edge of abstraction as they explore the transition into parenthood, featuring nest-like forms that intermittently look like they are coming together and coming apart. The exhibition opens on November 1st and continues through November 26. An artist’s reception will run from 6-9 PM on November 18, 2011.
Jensen’s recent work was spurred by a word she heard often when pregnant: Nesting. It describes a parents’ urge to “build a nest” in preparation for the birth of a child, to pull from available resources and create a haven. It also brings together two contradictory urges—one to break away and build your own family unit with a distinct identity, and one to strengthen ties with a bigger networks, to reaffirm your place in a clan of sorts. Jensen symbolically addresses both, cutting apart existing family photos then reassembling them into strange orbs, with strips of imagery clinging to each other. The resulting forms would seem wholly organic, like small, strange bodies, if not for the fragmented glimpses of limbs, eyes and mouths they gave.
After assembling her “nests,” Jensen photographs them using a large format, 4x5 camera. Concentric and smartly composed, with deep black backgrounds, the images have a sleek confidence worthy of Chuck Close or Doug Aitken. They impose calm over the complicated, harry process of bringing new life into the world.
Jensen received her B.F.A. from Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri, in 1996 and an M.F.A. in Visual Arts and M.A. in Theory and Criticism from State University of New York in 2006. She has most recently exhibited at WallSpace Gallery in Seattle and Felicity R. (Bebe) Benoliel Gallery in Philadelphia. Nesting is the artist’s first exhibition at House Gallery.