Nancy Margolis Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Andrea Dezsö’s inaugural exhibition, Without Myself, on September 12, 2013, and on view through October 19, 2013. The opening reception will take place Thursday, September 12 from 6–8 pm.
A multi-talented artist exceptional for her ability to move between mediums, New York-based Dezsö relies on traditional media to express the non-traditional. Without Myself will feature a range of handcrafted works, notable for their extraordinary detail and enigmatic narratives, including ink brush marker paintings; graphite pencil drawings on hand-made Japanese papers; paper collage, acrylic and ink paintings on canvas; and Dezsö’s remarkable tunnel books. Beautiful and outlandish, mystical and absurd, Dezsö’s intricate organic designs and unusual nature-inspired landscapes tell stories that weave together psychological, historical and ornamental themes. While the works’ ambiguities leave viewers to figure out Dezsö’s stories for themselves, the palette, restricted to black, white and silver, is intentionally subversive, subtly revealing the story of an artist caught between worlds.
The surrealist character of Dezsö’s work may be attributed to the artist’s personal history. Born in Romania under a communist regime, Dezsö’s background has long been an important influence, and in this new body of work she continues to draw on the idiosyncrasies of her birthplace. As a child in Romania, without a television and not allowed to travel, Dezsö instead immersed herself in books, collecting and careful observation of the world around her. She developed a fascination with nature—insects and strange creatures and plants—and, as a means of escape, dreamed often of flight, space travel and otherworldly places.
In some ways, Without Myself maintains Dezsö’s practice of translating into visual form the escapist fantasies of her childhood. Her intricate tunnel books, for example, create mini worlds that allow viewers the chance to escape momentarily to an alternate universe. However, in this exhibition Dezsö also takes her work in a new direction focused specifically on the concept of the self. Moved by the childhood memory of absent family members, she considers what it means to disappear. The figures in her paintings and drawings are made to appear absent, shaped only by the foggy, empty spaces between them, which, in turn, become solid and tangible. In this manner, Without Myself considers fundamentally human concerns: for example, what sort of absence is created when someone or something is no longer present? And what does it mean to experience the world from within—or outside of—the confines of one particular self?
Andrea Dezsö earned both her BFA in graphic design and typography and her MFA in visual communications from the Hungarian University of Design, Budapest. Her work has been exhibited in collections nationally and internationally, including at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Rice University Art Gallery, Houston; and Fujikawa Kirie Art Museum, Japan. Dezsö and her work have also been reviewed by ArtForum, ArtNews, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, PBS, and New York Magazine. In 2007, Dezsö was awarded Best American Public Art for her large-scale mosaic, Community Garden, installed in the Bedford Park Boulevard/Lehman College subway station in the Bronx, New York City. Dezsö is also an award-winning illustrator, and her illustrations have been featured in many books, CD covers, and magazines. She is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Previously, she served on the faculty of the Parsons School of Design, New York.
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