Thomas Solomon Gallery is pleased to present two concurrent exhibitions of the work of Jennifer Bolande. Continuing an investigative path begun in the late seventies, Bolande examines linguistic, emotional, and physical responses to the world across an enormous array of media and materials. Although conceptually based, her work evidences a Romanticists’ attraction to the unseen forces of everyday objects and images. With an eye for the coded or buried meanings in a cultural object, in both category and specifics, she sees the many dimensions of meaning embedded in forms we take for granted, such as speakers, globes, and flagpoles. Across three decades, Bolande’s work has remained remarkably consistent in its themes of transience, obsolescence, discovery and landscape.
Initially working in dance and performance, Bolande’s direction was changed by the 1977 Pictures exhibition: influenced by Jack Goldstein’s work in particular, she shifted to photography. Later, attempting to integrate aspects of dance (gesture, muteness, theatricality, temporality) with pictures, she physicalized the photograph in various ways; making photo-objects, sculpture, installation. Bolande has, over the years, continued the endeavor to integrate these distinct perceptual modalities simultaneously working into the gap between other reductive binary pairs, such as audience/performer, public/private, masculine/feminine, memory and expectation.
The exhibition at Cottage Home includes new works, from the series Space Photography, which address space and photography literally as well as figuratively. A recombinant set of elements call out across physical, spatial, and metaphorical boundaries. The photographs momentarily illuminate an abyss, whether of a darkened movie theater or the inky blackness of outer space, addressing distances both large and small. Similarly, a giant illuminated stack of movie marquees speaks to the history of Cottage Home, which was formerly a movie theater. The marquees, ordinarily suspended overhead, are brought down to earth, and at the same time begin an incremental climb from near extinction back up to the sky.
Around the corner at Thomas Solomon Gallery will be a mini-survey of works many of which center on sound and image projections made physical. Featured here are a number of early photo-sculptures, including Speaker I: and Speaker II:, the first pair in what has become an ongoing series of speaker pieces in Bolande’s work.
The first critical survey of Bolande’s work, Landmarks, was recently held at the Institute of Visual Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and an exhibition catalog is forthcoming. Bolande studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the mid-seventies. In the early eighties exhibiting with East Village conceptual gallery Nature Morte and with the first generation of Metro Pictures in New York City. Her work has been exhibited around the world and she has received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Tesuque Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. Public collections include the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; SFMOMA, San Francisco; the MFA, Boston; MOCA, Los Angeles; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. She is Professor of New Genres at UCLA and lives in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree.
Concurrent with this exhibition and continuing through 2011, Bolande’s project Plywood Curtains,produced by West of Rome, is visible in public spaces throughout Los Angeles. (For more information see: www.womeninthecity.org). Coming soon to a void near you!