Diane Rosenstein Fine Art is pleased to announce Eleanor Antin: Passengers, a solo exhibition of drawings, photographs, and découpages by this iconic and influential pioneer of Conceptual art. Eleanor Antin: Passengers opens Saturday, April 12th, with a reception for the artist from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. This is Antin’s first exhibition with the gallery.
Eleanor Antin, who is based in San Diego, uses fictional characters, autobiography, and theatrical narrative to examine the ways that history takes shape, and also to scrutinize the role that visual representation plays in that process. For this show, the artist reflects on recurring motifs in her work to design an installation that engages the existential themes that run through her historical narratives. The title of the exhibition -- “Passengers” -- provides a conceptual framework.
where are you going?
from here to there
do you ever get there?
I don’t know
i’m only a passenger -- just like you
(from an Egyptian tomb)
In her artist’s statement, Ms. Antin writes: “I think that the idea of ‘passing through’ has been a trope of mine throughout my career as an artist. From portraits of people made out of consumer goods - their decay built into them - through 100 Boots just passing through, or my deposed King passing the hat around to raise money to start a revolution against the developers or Eleanora Antinova, my black ballerina passing through modernist art history into oblivion, or Nurse Eleanor Nightingale passing through the Crimea bandaging the wounded and comforting the dying while Little Nurse Eleanor passes from bastard to bastard looking for true love, all the way back to the Roman past and its contemporary corollary, that train wreck, the American Empire, I’ve journeyed with my fellow passengers on our trip to nowhere.”
Passengers presents an edited selection of drawings – in conversation with photographs -- that includes early “Roissy” collages (1967); costume drawings and stage sets from “Before The Revolution” (1975-78) and previously unseen pastels from “Dance of Death” (1974-75). Most of these works on paper have not been seen for decades; several are being presented for the first time. Even those familiar with Antin’s work will find that these extraordinary watercolors, pastels, and découpages reveal a new dimension of an artist widely considered to be one of this country’s foremost practitioners of Conceptual art.
The installation also has a prevalent photographic component (a key aspect of Antin’s practice) that includes vintage prints from “Portrait of The King” (1972) and an editioned set of the fifty-one photographs that comprise “100 Boots” (1971-73/2005). The most recent work is a selection of color photographs from each of the “Historical Takes” series (2001-2007). These monumental works recreate scenes from ancient Greek and Roman empires through the screen of 19th-century neoclassical painting. One photograph, “Going Home,” (from Roman Allegories),” (2004), revisits the scene of “100 Boots Facing The Sea,” (1971), the very first image from that series: all of the players are standing at the shore, at the border between terra firma and what lies ahead.
Eleanor Antin: Passengers will be on view through May 31, 2014. A catalogue, with an essay by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, will accompany the exhibition
A major survey exhibition, Multiple Occupancy: Eleanor Antin’s Selves (curated by Emily Liebert for the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University), opens March 19th at the ICA/Boston through July 6, 2014.
Eleanor Antin (USA, b.1935) received a BA in creative writing and art at City College of New York (CCNY) in 1958. She uses fictional characters, autobiography and narrative to invent histories. In her performance-based video works, Antin uses role-playing and artifice as conceptual devices, adopting archetypal personae in her theatrical dramatizations of identity and representation. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; and the Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, among others. Antin has also participated in many group exhibitions, at venues such as the Brooklyn Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, for the 2002 Sydney Biennale; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and the 37th Venice Biennale. In 1999, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art held a major retrospective of Antin’s work, which traveled to the Washington University Gallery of Art in St. Louis, Missouri and the UK. Antin has received an Honorary Doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Caucus for Art of the College Art Association (2006); and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1997). Eleanor Antin lives and works in San Diego, where she is an emeritus professor at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).