The Party's Over
Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present The Partyʼs Over, an exhibition of new and recent work by photographer Lisa Kereszi, marking the artistʼs fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Seen as a follow-up to the artistʼs Fun and Games series, the color landscapes and interiors in The Partyʼs Over depict places of recreation long past their prime, together creating a poignant metaphor for the difficult economic climate of the times.
Continuing her investigation of escapist and fantastical spaces, Kereszi has trained her eye on the gritty, abandoned sites of former amusement parks, strip clubs, theaters, and other entertainment locales. An heir to the jaundiced vision of America offered by Robert Frank, Kereszi presents subtle visual hints of a once happier existence, using windows and reflections, for example, as metaphorical portals to escape a reality of decay.
Though subdued in tone and content, the work is also a celebration of the magic of the purely photographic. Reactive, though quiet, Keresziʼs photos are not pre-conceived or planned out, but rather genuine, instinctive responses to strange, silent and secret beauty. In this regard, Kereszi is channeling the vision of Eugene Atget and Walker Evans. In Topless bar reflected in puddle, Doylestown, PA, Kereszi frames a sliver of the defunct clubʼs sign in a parking lot puddle, which forms the shape of an arrow and reflects the clubʼs essential message – Topless Motel Bar Food. The buildingʼs A-frame roof and chimney suggest that this is a former home converted to a strip club, another subtle reminder of the distressed conditions to which Kereszi lends her poetic sensibility.
Elsewhere, Keresziʼs compositions are more direct in their message, as in the showʼs title image, The Partyʼs Over, Disco ball in box, CT, which peers down upon a shabby cardboard box containing a disco ball, no longer spinning overhead, and therefore bereft of its former power to entice. And Plastic Shark in lake behind sports bar, Pocono Mountains, PA, which reveals a comically placed shark head jutting out of shallow water, its toothy mouth agape, a sad, static reminder of a once popular recreational playground cast aside.
Lisa Kereszi received her BA from Bard College and her MFA from Yale University in 2000. She was awarded the Baum Award for Best Emerging American Photographer in 2005, and is the author of four monographs: Governors Island, Fantasies, Fun and Games, and the forthcoming Joeʼs Junk Yard, to be released by Damiani in September, 2012. Keresziʼs work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Berkeley Art Museum, the New Museum, the Aldrich Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among others. She is currently a Lecturer and Acting Director of Undergraduate Studies in Photography at Yale University.