Sara VanDerBeek, “Mirror in the Sky”

D’Amelio Terras, New York
September 8 – October 14, 2006

In her first solo exhibition, Sara VanDerBeek will present a series of photographs of sculptural assemblages and two-dimensional collages. Compositions include both talismanic objects representative of a particular event or individual as well as more automatic responses to a singular moment or image.  Bound by thread, wood, fabric, and wire, the materiality of the assemblages is tangible yet elusive.  As we look deeper into VanDerBeek’s constructed spaces we become entangled in layers of pop, surrealist, and modernist imagery; personal mementos; and ancient artifacts.

In addition to experimentation with material, pattern and image, the photographs play with reflection, light, and dimension; the combination of these elements creates ambiguous meanings that evoke the complexity and confusion of memory.  The references embedded in the work express the pain and pathos of transition and loss. In that sense, the traditions of vanitas and memento mori are resurrected in a contemporary context. Here we meditate not just on symbolic objects, but also on the multifarious physical and cultural connections between them.  In VanDerBeek’s work, past and present converge and are reflected back at us faceted but unchanged.

Sara VanDerBeek was born in Baltimore and studied at The Cooper Union School of Art and Science in New York.  In 2003, she co-founded Guild & Greyshkul, a gallery and studio in Soho.  She maintains a studio practice while simultaneously co-directing the gallery’s program.