E.V. Day: New Work Under Tension
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
January 16, 2009- February 28, 2009
Opening reception for the artist: Friday, January 16, 2009 5 - 7:30 pm.
Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Brooklyn-based artist E.V. Day’s first exhibition at the gallery, “New Work Under Tension.” Using a diverse and seductive range of materials, Day has altered a selection of garments and costumes for this exhibition of new and recent work. A pair of woman’s panties and iconic fashion attire such as designer Hervé Leger’s “Bandage Dress” are suspended in vitrines, or stretched within frames. These recognizable objects are fractured, pulled, and utterly transformed, begging for closer inspection.
This transformation happens gradually but intensely in “Chanel Shazam.” In this work, a deconstructed vintage Chanel suit appears to have exploded off a body that has vanished into a supernova of gold chains. In “Spidey Striptease,” Day has created a transgendered Spiderman costume in which fishnet stockings take the place of a shooting web, thus shredding, sometimes literally, the traditional notions of a superhero to reveal a more effeminate side. “Saarinen’s Mother” is a sculpture composed of a pair of delicate, organza crotch-less panties that float inside a Lucite box atop a stainless steel pedestal. Simultaneously pulled by hardware and monofilament and transformed by delicate resin-work, the panties are a ballooning, weightless form that references architect Eero Saarinen’s famous landmark TWA terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. The use of such overtly feminine signifiers allow for the explicit narrative and symbolic elements to give way to a more minimal and formal expression of emotions. Desire, anxiety, ecstasy, liberation and release are revealed through the transformation of a garment into complex suspended three-dimensional drawings.
The exhibition also includes “Framed Dress 1” and “Framed Dress 2,” in which Day has transformed a Hervé Leger “Bandage Dress” (a dress constructed of compression-gauze that appears to mummify their wearers in a skin-tight, full-body Ace bandage). By strategically splitting the seams of the dress and then stretching the fabric on an industrial steel frame with use of monofilament and hardware, Day alters this female garment, shaping it with light and shadow into modern, minimal works.
“Black and Blue” is the closest translation of Day’s explosion sculptures into a two-dimensional format. Employing a new process she developed at the nonprofit artist workspace Dieu Donne of New York, Day produces prints utilizing a similar technique to that employed in the Frame Dress sculptures. In this work, a fishnet body suit has been stretched on a frame with multiple monofilament lengths, saturated with pure pigment, and compressed into wet paper pulp resulting in an embossed print. The immense pressure forces the pigment out to the edges of the paper atmospherically while retaining crisp details of the fishnet pattern and tension lines that produce the image of a contorted figure. Like the sculptural work, this print calls attention to the act of being under tension, where the force of pulling or stretching objects is manifested in different ways.
E.V. Day earned her M.F.A. from Yale University, and her B.A. from Hampshire College. Her work has been included in many prominent solo and group exhibitions. Recent solo exhibitions include E.V. Day: New Work Under Tension at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL, Sweet Heat, a sound installation at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, Bride Flight at the Lever House, Deitch Projects, New York, and E.V. Day: Intergalactic Installations, Santa Barbara contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA. Selected group exhibitions include I Won’t Grow Up, curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody and Donald Baechler, Cheim and Read, New York, Blown Away, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL, Womanizer, Deitch Projects, New York, and Paper Sculpture Show, Sculpture Center, New York, which was exhibited internationally.
Day’s work is currently included in prominent collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.