Devorah Sperber

Devorah Sperber “Mirror Universe” at Caren Golden Fine Art, NYC

March 20 – April 26, 2008

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(left) Spock and Kirk (Terror must be maintained) 2007, 27,648 chenille stems, MDF board, 25 x 33 inches
(right) Spock 3, 2007, 1,200 spools of thread, stainless-steel ball chain and hanging apparatus, 47 x 37.5 x 60 inches. edition of
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Caren Golden Fine Art is pleased to present Mirror Universe, the first solo exhibition by Devorah Sperber with the gallery. Mirror Universe will feature an entirely new body of work by Sperber based on images from the television series Star Trek. The title, Mirror Universe, alludes to the 1967 Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror in which a transporter mishap swaps the crew of the Enterprise with evil counterparts, trapping them in a “savage parallel universe.” The concept of a mirror or parallel universe is a dominant theme in the show, and, in keeping with this metaphor, many of the works incorporate mirrors to view the work. For Sperber the exhibition is an opportunity to look at the relationship between popular science and art, and how they relate to larger metaphysical issues. In particular, she is interested in how consciousness and the act of seeing create the illusion of a stable, predictable, singular world. Mirror Universe is Sperber’s first gallery exhibition since her highly acclaimed Brooklyn Museum exhibition The Eye of the Artist: The Work of Devorah Sperber, (January 27 – June 17, 2007).

In addition to Sperber’s signature “Thread Spool” pieces and works comprised of chenille stems, Mirror Universe will introduce a series of standing figures composed of semi translucent beads; depicting the familiar Star Trek characters in the process of “beaming up”. For Sperber the individual works, and the exhibition in general, serve to support the idea that ‘reality’ is merely an illusion created by the brain in collaboration with the human eye. The ideas at the heart of Mirror Universe recall the writings of phenomenological philosophers such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty who claimed that one’s understanding of any physical xobject is contingent on the observer’s psychological and physical perspective on it. He held that every xobject is a “mirror of all others” whereby all things reflect meaning off one another, complicating how they are perceived. Sperber echoes Merleau-Ponty’s thoughts as the latent images in her work compete with its component xobjects – thread spools, beads and chenille stems – to engage the viewer with a combination of poetic illusion and clarity.

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left: studio mock-up of beaded figures. edition of 2
right: Kirk (Beaming In) 1, 2007, 25,000 plastic beads, strung onto monofilament, 103 x 23.5 x 1.5 inches. edition of 2

Mirror Universe will be on view concurrently with several other exhibitions featuring Devorah Sperber’s work in and around the New York City area. Sperber’s traveling solo museum exhibition opens at MASS MoCA on March 27th and she currently has works on view in the Art, Image and Warhol Connections exhibition at the Jewish Museum and in the Brainwave: Common Senses exhibition at Exit Art. Commissioned by New York Foundation for the Arts, the long term installation of three site-specific thread spool pieces that relate to the history of Penn Station remains in the lobby of One Penn Plaza, (34th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues), through the summer of 2010. Caren Golden Fine Art will present a solo installation of Devorah Sperber’s Star Trek works at PULSE NY Art Fair (Booth E-13) from March 27 through 30, 2008.

www.carengoldenfineart.com

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