French In America

French News, American Stories

Posts Tagged ‘New Yo

Opening Reception: Vast | Amelie Chabannes Saturday Feb. 27, 7:00 PM

with one comment

stephan stoyanov gallery
29 orchard street new york ny 10002  212 343 4240

STEPHAN STOYANOV GALLERY is pleased to present, Vast, a solo exhibition by Amelie Chabannes.


Reception: Saturday, February 27th, 7-9pm

* * *

Amelie Chabannes continues her investigation into the monumental topic of identity.  “Vast” follows her 2008 exhibition at Luxe Gallery entitled “My Portrait of Your Identity”. With the current title, the artist is front and center concerning the scope of her limitless topic.  Vast conjures up endless vistas, the great sun lit expanse.  Chabannes describes, “vast” as directly referring to Baudelaire, whose use of this word imparted the “immensity of the intimate”, which the artist molds and coaxes into the “intensity of the intimate being”.  In this exhibition, as in 2008, Chabannes places herself in the hotspot of her inquiries, as well as, taking the view from the outside and often intermingling the two, allowing the viewer a glimpse at the vacillating, vague and often counterintuitive aspects of defining the individual.

Chabannes employs sculpture, drawing, video and installation in her entangled enterprise.  All of these offerings have an outspoken tactility, pushing the viewer’s awareness of the works as physical objects and yet, all the while, whispering about our interior, delicately grinding away at our psychology.   Referencing the grandeur of the landscape, she builds her pieces mimicking the earth’s processes: fossilization, stratification, glaciation, often using topography, maps and measures.  These processes, in turn, quote the layered, multivalent complexities and tectonic shifts of the subconscious and yet simultaneously, oppose it.  The wide-open world vs. tiny private thoughts, which we well know are not so tiny.  The artist gets at fractured and disrupted identity with several installations and the drawings, “ Oskar, Alma And I #1 and #2”.  Oskar Kokoschka was a major Austrian painter who forlornly constructed a doll of his ex-mistress, Alma, to combat his grief over her absence.  Chabannes creates dolls, decayed and aged, embedded within a reconstituted emotional land mass, showing the history of a violent impact on the psyche as the revelatory rings inside a tree’s trunk.  The artist’s face flickers in and out of the drawn portraits of Oskar and Alma, the interplay confessing her sympathies and own personal disruptions as if a geological remnant.

The artist hints at the complications that arise when rigid categories, inferring technical or bureaucratic systems, are forced upon ever-shifting entities, such as ourselves.   In “Anthropometric Self Portrait”, a glass-encased head juts out from the wall.  The unobstructed face is partitioned on its surface with official, yet officious looking circles and measurements.  A similarly constructed sculpture, “Self Portrait Dream”, is ensconced in a spinous charcoal latticework, obscuring the entire top half of the head.   Chabannes very physically posits our clear-eyed definitions against our mind’s eye, the inept category trying to surround the labyrinth.  Chabannes subjects squirm and mutate underneath, yet in defiance of miniscule designations and inescapable histories, bristling at reduction.  In the age of internet profiles and downloadable status, she seems to be tempting us to cherish our right not to fit in.

* * *

Stephan Stoyanov Gallery is located on the Lower East Side at 29 Orchard Street between Hester & Canal. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11am until 6pm, and Sundays Noon until 6pm.

For more information, call (212) 343 4240 or email:

Posted from Jon Cronin’s Stream Of Consciousness

Written by Jon Cronin

February 23, 2010 at 21:13