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Catharine Clark Gallery: Ellen Kooi: photographs
Media Room: Lauren Kelley
- 16 June 2012 to 14 July 2012

Current Exhibition

16 June 2012 to 14 July 2012

Catharine Clark Gallery
150 Minna Street
Ground Floor
San Francisco, CA
CA 94105
North America
T: +1 415 399 1439
F: +1 415 543 1338

Ellen Kooi: Noordwijk - bessen, 2009
Fuji Crystal Archive, Plexiglass, Reynobond
Edition of 6 + 2AP, 25 ½ x 52 ¾ inches

Artists in this exhibition: Ellen Kooi

Solo Exhibition: Ellen Kooi
Media Room: Lauren Kelley
June 16 – July 14
Reception Saturday, June 16, noon–3pm

Catharine Clark Gallery announces the solo exhibition of new works in photography by Ellen Kooi. Presented in the Media Room is Lauren Kelley’s single-channel video, Upside. The exhibition dates are June 16 through July 14, 2012, with an opening reception on Saturday, June 16, from noon to 3pm.

The photography of Dutch artist Ellen Kooi is featured in a second solo exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery. Kooi’s vividly-colored, hyper-sharp, large-scale photographs present moments that have been clipped out of a larger narrative to which the audience is not granted access. The stills—frozen in a silent eeriness—depict deceptively delicate women and children in natural environments that seem unnaturally expansive, dense, or wild: a girl with floor-length locks hides crouched amidst a bramble of red berries, armed with a wooden sword; a boy in oversized vegetation peers into the weeds, in awe of some unknown glow beneath; a misty field of young figures looking not quite menacing, but not benign either. Kooi’s meticulous process (also deceptive, as what looks like a snap from a single scene, is actually the result of hours of orchestration, arrangement, and image manipulation) and detailed control over lighting and composition is coupled with perspectives that are curiously askew, invoking a subtle sense of confusion, danger, isolation, and sometimes transcendence in the viewer.

Born in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, Ellen Kooi has exhibited throughout Europe and the United States, including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio; the Photography Biennale and Moscow House of Photography in Moscow, Russia; The Fields Sculpture Park at Omni International Arts Center, Ghent, New York; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla Y León, León, Spain; Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky; and Hague Museum of Photography, The Hague, Netherlands. She attended the Art Academy ABK Minerva in Groningen and has been a resident of the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam. Her work has appeared in numerous publications and her most recent catalog, Out Of Sight, was published by Filigranes Editions in 2010. Kooi is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco and P.P.O.W. in New York. She lives and works in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

Presented in the Media Room is Lauren Kelley’s stop-motion animated short Upside. Completed during her residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2009–2010), Kelley’s video expresses a bittersweet pathos through a narrative told from the vantage point of a child assessing her family’s lot as a swimming pool party goes awry. Employing a wry wit when commenting on matters of sexuality, race, and meditations on place, Lauren Kelley is a video artist best known for her series of short animated videos that combine clay-mation with brown plastic dolls. Stylistically evocative of children’s television programs of her youth, Kelley stages absurd, jittery, and sometimes endearing narratives. These low-tech scenarios occur in Technicolor dioramas—a plush backdrop in contrast to the flaccid narratives of a discontented cast of ingénues. Like other works in this artist's ongoing series, Upside is a short-stop-animation work that draws inspiration from the grotesque charm of Todd Haynes’ The Karen Carpenter Story and The Yes Men’s political endeavors with toys.

Lauren Kelley’s videos and photographs have been presented nationally at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; New Museum, New York; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Texas; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; The Kitchen, New York; and most recently she was included in the group exhibition Twisted Sisters, an exhibition of works by women artists depicting women as the subjects, at Dodge Gallery, New York, through June 23, 2012 (an exhibit that also included the work of gallery artists Nina Katchadourian and Julie Heffernan). Kelley was awarded the 2011 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, 2011 Visual Artists Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, 2008 Altoids Award from the New Museum, and fellowships from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Illinois Arts Council. Her work has been reviewed in publications that include The New Yorker, Art in America, Artlies, Houston Press, and The Boston Globe. Exhibiting for the first time with Catharine Clark Gallery, Kelley lives and works in Houston, Texas.

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