Le Poisson Rouge and The Gallery at LPR announce the opening of Leah Yerpe’s installation, STELLIFY at The Gallery at LPR on. Yerpe’s drawings and large-scale works have a mythical quality to them, figures suspended in space both literal and figurative. As she says in her artist statement “Stellify means to change or be changed into a star,” these are “humans transformed into constellations.”
The dual presences of minimalism and maximalism characterize both constellations and Yerpe’s drawings, existing in simplicity and abundance, featuring figures in an array of poses “twisting, floating, and falling on a ground purged of contextualizing marks.” Yerpe, a quickly rising artistic voice in the Lower East Side art scene, will exhibit Fourteen new works that, much like the space they will occupy, seek movement and stillness as states that can coexist.
This installation, which will last from March 7th to June 6th, is, like all exhibitions in The Gallery at LPR, presented to an array of art and music fans in the ever-changing space. These engaging works interact with viewers in an atypical space that seeks to present the highest caliber of art in a less traditional format that most galleries. These works will be experienced concurrently by art aficionados who come for the art, as well as patrons arriving at The Gallery at LPR for parties, readings, comedy, concerts, and more through the exhibitions run. The mission of The Gallery at LPR, to "serve art and alcohol" and promote atistic dialog, thus echoing a return to the days of the Salon, is alive and well.
Stellify means to change or be changed into a star. Creation myths of nearly every ancient civilization include stories of humans transformed into constellations. My favorites are those in which a god takes pity on one of our ancient ancestors fleeing some terrible danger, and saves them by placing among the stars. I'm inspired by the persistent relevance of ancient myths; they span time to express human experience. Currently, the Voyager spacecraft is poised to become the first man-made object to leave our solar-system. Thousands of years of human progress reaching toward the heavens.
The figures in my work are multiplied in different poses, twisting, floating and falling on a ground purged of contextualizing marks. The bodies carry a feeling of contradiction between harmony and discord as they push and pull each other, forming constellations on the paper's surface. I never pose my models; they have free reign to move in an immediate, improvised dance. This fluidity contrasts with a fastidious drawing process, where every tiny gesture and wrinkle take on great significance.
Born in 1985, Leah grew up in the rural backwoods of upstate New York, in a town with a single stop sign. Naturally, she moved to the biggest, fastest city in the USA where she received an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute in 2009. Since then, her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in galleries, museums, and art fairs, and discussed in publications including The Paris Review, PMc Magazine, and Visual Overture. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.