That This Is
Thomas Erben Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition featuring three emerging New York-based artists. The paintings, sculptures and films in this show all share an experimental attitude veering into the enigmatic, while still being firmly rooted in physical materiality. These artists are also connected by a tendency to repurpose or refine common materials, effecting a change in perception of medium, meaning and the material itself.
Lauren Luloff (b. 1980, Dover, NH) stretches and carefully manipulates textiles, fabrics and bed sheets, often found in thrift stores, into colorful abstract paintings. Fabric patterns effected through bleaching combine with expressive brush marks, and cuts in the surface or transparencies reveal the wood of a stretcher as an integral part of the work. The process is present in each piece through flaws and production traces, while the spatial installation further enhances an immersive experience. Luloff’s work connects with the Pattern and Decoration movement of the mid-70s and early ‘80s, while carrying its own particular element of nostalgia, both personal and communal.
Lauren Luloff received her BFA in painting at Pennsylvania State University (2001) and her MFA at Bard College, NY (2010). Her numerous solo shows include venues such as Horton Gallery, New York (2012); BUOY, Kittery, ME (2010); Sunday L.E.S. New York (2009) and Black and White, Brooklyn (2007 and 2005). Tanya Bonakdar, The Queens Museum and CANADA (all in New York) among others, have included her work in group shows.
Cassie Raihl (b. 1983, New York) combines ready-made and carefully hand crafted elements into sculptures which are precariously balanced, not only in a physical sense but also in an experiential one. These assemblages borrow from items we commonly interact with, such as a gym mat or a water cooler; objects which are then refabricated in different materials, resurfaced, fragmented and put together in new combinations. The result is an uncanny uncertainty as to the objects’ relationship with reality, even though they are expressly physical.
Cassie Raihl attained her BFA at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2006), and her MFA at Bard College, NY (2010). Her most notable recent participations include The Brucennial, New York (current); One Night Show, Vaudeville Park, Brooklyn, and Ego the Living Planet, TaT Gallery, Berlin (both 2011); Knights Move, Sculpture Center and The Open, Deitch Projects, both Long Island City, NY (2010). Thomas Erben Gallery included her work in QuietlyLoud (2011).
William Santen (b. 1975, Lexington, KY) comes from an extensive songwriting and painting background, now using film as a way to bring these two practices together – the language, narrative, time and melody of song combined with the color, shape and figure of image. As 16 mm film does not record sound, this has to be done separately, and the relationship between sound and image is revealed and complicated by their slight disconnect. The individual quality of each of these elements are given equal weight, making the sound not so much an integrated part of the film as something running parallel with the image. The process of cutting and splicing remains present in the finished work, serving as an anchor to the physical domain.
William Santen received his BA at the University of Kentucky, Lexington (2009) and his MFA at Columbia, New York (2011). As a songwriter he has released five records with BMG Music, culminating with In the Night Kitchen (2004). Santen’s work has been screened at Flux Factory and Nicole Klagsbrun, both New York, and internationally at the Masc Foundation, Vienna, Austria, and Overgaden Museum of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark. His film A Song for You is currently on display at the Queens International, Queens Museum of Art.