Monday, June 04, 2007

Ellen Curlee Gallery: Friday, 15 June 2007

Foreign Language: Susan Aurinko, Carl Safe and Matt Siber at Ellen Curlee Gallery

The exhibition will run from June 15, 2007 to July 28, 2007, opening reception Friday, June 15, 2007 from 6-9 p.m.

In Foreign Language three artists with different sets of interests and visual language document life in cultures which are not their own; interpreting the visual language through the lens of their own ideas. Armed with a keen sense of observation, each artist travels previously unknown corners to witness and record daily life as it is reflected in the language of architecture, design, graffiti and advertising.

In her series, La Poesie des Affiches, Susan Aurinko explores the juxtaposition and layering of signage that mirror the culture of a country. She is intrigued by the overlapping of previous events and the prospect events yet to come, ultimately creating a layering of past, present and future in the life of a city. These cultural symbols are reframed into tight, graphic compositions highlighting texture and tonal value, yet their impact lays in the way the fragments of layered text and images still manage to communicate and reflect the concerns and issues of the moment.

Carl Safe, trained as an architect, captures people in fleeting moments that the rest of us might overlook. At first blush, his images appear to be about the expressions and gestures of unfamiliar people, yet it is the way he inserts the figure in the context of line, and shape that clearly reflects his interest in design and formal composition. His photographs ultimately illustrate the way architecture influences the culture of a city.

Matt Siber's photographs are a mordant, yet witty criticism of our increasingly globalized culture. In his Untitled Project series, Siber photographs familiar urban scenes but removes all the text from signs and advertisements. The textual elements are then placed on a second panel and paired next to the image robbed of its language. The absence of the printed word draws attention to the role of text in the modern landscape, but also emphasizes how in a world of prevailing symbols, logos and cultural signs, public voices communicate without using traditional forms of written language.

The gallery is located at 1308-A Washington Ave. in the Washington Ave Loft district. Hours are 11:00 am to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday and 11:00 to 9:00 the first Friday of the month. Tel: (314) 241-1299.


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