31 January 2013

Highly Recommended - Raven Schlossberg "To The Manner Born" exhibition in New York City at Pavel Zoubok Gallery

Above - Raven Schlossberg's "Anonymous Rooms With Automatons", 2012, Below, Raven Schlossberg's "Lost In Rome (She's Come Undone), 2012, both from her exhibition "To The Manner Born" at Pavel Zoubok Gallery. This exhibition is open until February 9, 2013 - Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. The gallery is located at 533 West 23rd Street, New  York, NY (between 10th and 11th Avenues) - 212 675 7490.

Raven Schlossberg’s recent series of mixed-media collages function as landscapes - natural spaces composed from familiar elements. But they are in fact places of pure imagination, “floating worlds” hovering between multiple realities. By employing superimposed, or ghost images, Schlossberg conjures a double-exposure in which events real and invented write themselves onto shifting planes. By exploring this spatial duality she gathers the disparate threads of ancient tales to tell stories of love, loss, discovery and devotion. Schlossberg writes:

'When I began this body of work, I conceptualized the idea of luxury, of collectors acquiring beautiful objects throughout time, and how these objects (individually loaded with meaning and stories) have been passed down through families of influence or discarded and discovered continents away from their point of origin. I am interested in the export of an aesthetic, what it says about the cultures that produced these objects as well as the taste and fashion of the collectors who sought to acquire them, such as German production of fine porcelain in an Orientalist style, or French Chinoiserie.'

Schlossberg arranges these objects as markers, creating paths for the viewer to visually move across the picture surface, making connections between landscapes real and imagined. The collage paintings in this exhibition draw heavily from the artist’s experiences traveling and exhibiting her work across Europe over the past several years, losing herself intentionally and unintentionally. In a seamless swirl of images, Schlossberg conjures the memory of a Roman-built amphitheater in far Western Germany where she could swear she heard the echoed roar of caged lions. Down from the ruin, along the banks of the Mosel River, was revealed the faint glint of Roman coins, once the epitome of power, now lost to nature and time. In Rome, a random turn down a narrow alleyway eventually opened onto an imposing pair of intricately wrought iron gates, behind which stood a tomb composed entirely of human skulls. This hidden, sacred place built atop strata upon strata of buried treasure and refuse. Schlossberg’s works are composed from and built upon this concept of cultural accretion. Her landscapes are terraced with layers of paper collage, painted, printed, drawn and superimposed images that create a kind of historical time line punctuated by characters or travelers acting out scenarios that verge on theater.

Above, Raven Schlossberg's "The Pride of the Peacock is the Glory of God", 2012. Below, Schlossberg's "To See The Sea", 2012. All images courtesy of Pavel Zoubok Gallery.