Thursday, September 17, 2009

Catherine Sullivan et al at Metro Pictures

Paulina Olowska, Stephen G. Rhodes and Catherine Sullivan

September 17 - October 17, 2009

Metro Pictures
519 West 24 Street
New York, NY 10011
www.metropictures.com

Based far from New York and each other—Poland, Los Angeles and Chicago—Metro Pictures brings together new work by each for this season-opening exhibition.

Paulina Olowska's 5 large-scale collages use an autobiographical narrative featuring a young couple riding in a vintage Volkswagen convertible under a large umbrella that shields them from the dynamic and dangerous: taxes, former loves, desires, doubts and the past. These images relate to Olowska's 2007-2009 sculpture Car Mobile, a large Calder-esque steel mobile that will be installed in Miami in December. The collages are silkscreen on paper and fabric, with gels, tape, foil, oil marker and crayon.

Stephen G. Rhodes combines video, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing to weave history and memory, reality and fiction in ambitious and complex multimedia installations. This new work is based on the Disney theme park attraction The Hall of Presidents and centers on dual video projections mirroring each other inside an upturned Oval Office. Each video features the remains of Animatronic versions of Presidents Lincoln and Washington enduring numerous indignities including being bullwhipped. Also in the installation are two of Rhodes' Vacant Portraits, paintings that reference the dull portraiture found in local banks, country clubs or The Hall of Presidents. Rhodes paints the sitter as abstracted ghostly residue. This series was introduced with a cacophonous installation shown in New Orleans as part of Prospect 1 in 2008.

Catherine Sullivan's new single-channel film LULU – Or: To What Ends Does the Bourgeoisie Need Despair is based on the 1978 affair between silent film star Louise Brooks and British theater critic Kenneth Tynan who was also the creator of the erotic musical review Oh! Calcutta!. Sullivan's work consists of original film as well as appropriated footage from a televised 1971 production of Oh! Calcutta! and Brooks' 1929 film Pandora's Box. Sullivan restages the climax of Pandora's Box (a scene in which Brooks' character Lulu is murdered by Jack the Ripper) portraying Kenneth Tynan as Jack and the elderly Louise Brooks as Lulu. Characters derived from Oh! Calcutta also inhabit the interior where this scene takes place. The film fuses all of the footage through overlays and dissolves, hoping to create the effect of Tynan's sexual imagination.

Paulina Olowska was born in 1976 in Gdansk, Poland and lives and works in Warsaw. She attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 1996); and the Academy of Fine Arts, Gdansk, Poland (MFA 2000). One-person exhibitions include Portikus, Frankfurt (2007); Sammlung Goetz, Munich (2007) and the Tate Modern, London (2008). Group exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); 5th Berlin Biennial (2007) and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2007).

Stephen G. Rhodes was born in 1977 in Houston and lives and works in Los Angeles. He attended Bard College in New York and Art Center in Pasadena, California. He has had recent exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Berlin and was included in Younger than Jesus at the New Museum (2009) and Prospect 1 in New Orleans (2008).

Catherine Sullivan was born in 1968 in Los Angeles and lives and works in Chicago. Her numerous one-person exhibitions include the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Tate Modern, London; Secession, Vienna; Kunsthalle Z├╝rich, Switzerland and The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago.

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