The Highline Loft
508 W 26th St, 5th Floor, NYC
Opening reception: Thursday, June 6, 2013 6 – 9p.m.
The Highline Loft proudly presents Punctuated History, an exhibition of work from New York based artist Elena Lyakir. Punctuated History combines selected photography from the artist’s “emotionally chronological” ongoing series, with new large-scale photographs from her recent series entitled Dreams, inspired by Sigmund Freud’s – The Interpretation Of Dreams, first published in 1900. In Dreams, Lyakir stays with her favorite avian subject matter, while exploring how dreams reveal themselves as psychical structures, with meaning that asserts itself into the waking life. In this exhibition Lyakir employs an installation resembling an actual window into a “dream world” of her bewitching imagery. Punctuated History is an enchanting, poetic, contemplative and haunting, collection of highly aesthetic photographs, which are filled with texture, energy, and movement.
In her work Lyakir attempts to bridge passion and sentiment with visual imagery. The images serve as kind of an exposition of personal history that combines her sense of poetic longing with the melancholy she felt growing up in the rich yet contradictory Eastern European culture. Here she was forced to remain an outsider due to her mixed nationality. For Lyakir, each photograph is literally a page in a diary: metaphors for feelings, sensations, dreams and other complexities of the human condition. Her images evoke how memory facilitates the creation of situations involving her viewers both emotionally and physically.
While looking at Lyakir’s photographs, viewers are confronted by the awareness of their own states of being, in essence turning each photo into an opportunity for self-reflection. Using elements of nature as her primary subject, Lyakir pushes the limits of the photographic medium to suggest the illusion of charcoal drawings and painterly abstractions.
Punctuated History as a whole is an attempt to describe a personal story through imagery, while creating a voice – one that is seeking to encompass everyone engaged in similar emotional journeys – intimately personal yet simultaneously collective. Elena says: “The work on display is a manifestation of a process of deconstruction of thought. It is, in a sense, a tool I use to communicate to the viewer a message of encouragement to pause and experience the essence of time and space. In this way, the visual experience becomes an emotional one. I would like my audience to literally exist and move within the images as if they were moving through someone’s body – the body of a lover I suppose. I am conscious of the art world being academic, which sometimes results in aridity. From this I am interested in creating art that is visceral and connected to emotion.”
Lyakir’s work is internationally recognized and is included in many private collections. Her photography is on display in New York City at Spring Gallery, Clic Gallery, and Ochre. Large-scale images from her “Aves” and “Poetry Of Nature” series’ decorate the walls of renowned chef Jean-George Vongerichten’s James Beard award winning Manhattan eatery, ABC Kitchen.
Visual Poetry, Ochre, New York, NY
Shelf Life, Kunsthalleam Hamburger Platz, Berlin, Germany
Living Arrangements, Spring Gallery, New York, NY
Love and Passion, Ashawagh Space, East Hampton, NY
To Deny Our Nothingness, Gallery Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY
Seasons, Gallery 69, New York, NY
In addition Punctuated History exhibition will feature a collection of bold, organic furniture and sculpture of Brooklyn based artist and designer Eric Slayton.
Slayton is attracted to symmetry of bold industrial sourced materials such as the thick steel plates, form cast concrete columns, and structural wood beams which are used to make the skeleton of the urban landscape. He combines these rough textures with more refined elements of polished bronze, mirrored stainless steel, glass, polished cast aluminum, and animal suede. The resulting pieces are honest and confrontational, and have a very distinctive quality that is well described by a Japanese term Wabi Sabi, which roughly translates to “beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” Each piece is truly unique with it’s minimal simplicity and design, accenting the richness of tones and textures inherent in the material pallet. His work matures gracefully with time representing the change that is incessantly taking place in nature and in life itself.
Slayton’s background is in Conservation Biology and Ornithology. He says: “ I feel that I came to my creative expression as an outsider.” Yet his knowledge of materials and the beauty he finds within their state of continuous change is evident due to his lifelong study of Nature.
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