artists & participants
A collaborative exhibition and print edition by William Allen & Barbara Westermann (USA) / Birgit Jensen & Jochen Saueracker (Germany)
There was a game craze in the late 19th century that mirrored the populist enthusiasm for theatrical, painted panoramas that toured across Europe and the United States. Called Endless Landscapes or Myrioramas, these were sets of lithographed cards that could be placed end to end to create a landscape, and when reshuffled, would make new landscapes, some said (or advertised) up to 20,922,789,999 combinations. Myriorama originally meant sets of illustrated cards which people could arrange and re-arrange, forming different pictures. Later the name was also applied to traveling shows that used a sequence of impressive, visual effects to entertain and inform an audience. Each card typically held a landscape that would join at the edges of the cards, so that, like the vertically-oriented Exquisite Corpse drawings of the Surrealists, they would match up to form a single and unbroken form. Marketed as art, educational tools, and games for children and adults, these cards flourished for several decades before photography began to flood the market.
The Endless Landscape print project by William Allen, Birgit Jensen, Jochen Saueracker, and Barbara Westermann, produced by Clay Street Press, emulates this game, providing a template for a serious collaboration about the earth and its perimeters (where humor and fancy must have their place as well).
Bill's text project for the print combines geographical taxonomy with names of natural processes, creating a textual map for the concept of endless landscapes.
Birgit's masterful color and her integration of her painting techniques into the card provides a vibrant solidity to the whole.
Jochen's expert use of collage mirrors the Surrealists version of this game, as well as provides the compositional framework, humor, and added 'commentary' on the idea of landscape, where images of Byrd Land penguins and bulls and still lives melded into the varied landscapes of this world.
Barbara's minimal drawing style provides a fine, drawn line to situate the collaboration upon a horizontal plane, and her vases, staircases and other architectural elements inject the human and the built upon the natural world, suggesting both Westermann's visions of architectonic nature and the template for the game, which surfaces from time to time in individual cards.
The set of 24 lithographic cards, each 5x10", is exhibited on a shelf where the cards are interchangeable, letting the viewer create an endless comment on landscape. William Allen, Birgit Jensen, Jochen Saueracker, and Barbara Westermann
William Allen is a poet as well as visual artist, the author of The Man on the Moon (NYU/Persea Presses, 1987) and Sevastopol: On Photographs of War (Xenos Books, 1997). He has shown his work Clay Street Press Gallery, Momenta Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, Real Artways in Hartford, CT, Wheeler Gallery in Providence RI, Williams College, and others. His prints were featured in the Committed to Print exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1990. Progressive Insurance of Cleveland, OH and Fidelity of Boston recently purchased paintings for their permanent collections. His art and poetry can be seen at http://www.ekphrases.com.
Birgit Jensen lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany. Her work consists of large scale silkscreen "paintings" based on the landscape of the city, usually at night. Her work has been exhibited widely at galleries and museums in Europe, where she has also done many public commissions. In 2006 she exhibited her "Mars Project" at Clay Street Press. Birgit's work can be seen at http://www.birgitjensen.de
Jochen Saueracker lives and works in Dusseldorf, an industrial and cultural center on the Rhine, home to the famous Dusseldorf Art Academie where Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, and Nam June Paik were professors and where he graduated. Jochen's work is "Pop" influenced and derives from fruit labels and other found commercial imagery. He makes large wall collages of these pieces of found ephemera as well as linoleum cuts which are printed by hand in his studio and have a decidedly painterly quality. Jochen's work can be seen at http://www.jochensaueracker.de/.
Barbara Westermann's work is a conceptual alphabet to monitor the way we see the human body, the architectonics and literatures of sky and earth, and the music which courses through the world's membrane. Barbara has shown her work widely, including single shows at the the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Freiburg Museum of Contemporary Art in Germany. Recent shows include FluxFactory in Long Island City, NY, Momenta Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, AuBase Gallery and A.R.T. Gallery in New York, Real Artways in Hartford, CT, the University of Rhode Island, Williams College, and Brown University, and others. She's taught a course called Materiality and Social Sculpture at the New School for Social Research in New York for many years, as well as studio courses at Providence College, Roger Williams University, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Progressive Insurance of Cleveland, OH recently purchased a sculpture for their permanent collection. Upcoming shows include The Last Book Project at the Museum of the National Library of Spain and an installation at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City. Her projects and portfolio can be seen at http://www.barbarawestermann.com.
Further Myriorama links for the endlessly curious..... http://billdouglas.ex.ac.uk/eve/di/69238.htm http://susi.e-technik.uni-ulm.de:8080/Meyers2/seite/werk/meyers/band/11/seite/0952/meyers_b11_s0952.html http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myriorama http://www.grand-illusions.com/acatalog/info_10.html
The group will exhibit the print as well as individual works from their respective genres.
only in german
William Allen / Barbara Westermann / Birgit Jensen / Jochen Saueracker