press release

For her first one-person exhibition at Metro Pictures, Sara VanDerBeek presents new photographs and sculptures that explore the phenomenon of experience and the translation of memory into image and form. Continuing her inquiry into the synthesis of place, time and culture, VanDerBeek travelled to Paris, Rome and Naples where she explored archeological sites and museum collections of classical and neoclassical sculpture. During this period of research, VanDerBeek focused on ancient female figures as they exist within evolving visual culture. The exhibition translates and materializes the museum tableaux and sense of scale, space and time VanDerBeek experienced while visiting these collections.

In one room a group of photographs of large marble and metal female figures, colorized with blue and pink Plexiglas, are seen opposite a colonnade of rectilinear modular forms. These imposing sculptures correspond to the monumental scale of the women pictured. In another room are eight close-up photographs of an oxidized metal wall, its rust appearing as a kind of dusk-hued patina. Framed in mirrored glass, the experience of these images is in constant flux as they reflect shifting light and passing viewers. The predominating blue and pink hues of the photographs recall the original colors classical statues were painted while the white of the plaster and concrete sculptures speaks to their present state. VanDerBeek approaches the breadth of civilization with an intimate immediacy, enabling her contemporary experience to exist within the continuum of history.

Sara VanDerBeek studied at the Cooper Union and lives and works in New York City. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Fondazione Memmo, Rome. Her work has been in group shows at institutions incudling the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; CCS Bard, Annandale-on-the-Hudson, New York; SculptureCenter, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Aspen Art Museum; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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Sara Vanderbeek