Handshakes – Elaine Stocki, Whitney Claflin, Ian Campbell (Works)
Handshakes – Elaine Stocki, Whitney Claflin, Ian Campbell Press Release
Thomas Erben is pleased to present an exhibition of works by three emerging New York-based artists who are tied by bonds of age, friendship, alma mater, attitude towards art making and artistic sensibility. From a position of proficiency, they cross-fertilize, mix and stretch media ranging from painting, photography, film, performance to music, plays and poetry. This press release – written at the end of July – witnesses the artists in a state of fertile production and thus, rather than describing the objects which will be encountered at the gallery in September, comments on their current explorations and methodologies.
Elaine Stocki (b. 1979, Winnipeg) has an interest in what one could term the happening of content; or, as she states: “The ideas I get most excited about are always really intuitive and entirely unacademic, because they have the potential to explode into something much more complex in the visual.” Whether in photography, sculpture or painting, Stocki chooses to manipulate her media, be it – in the case of photography – by using the qualities of film (such as grain and color saturation) and traditional darkroom and alternative processes to drive the discussion of content. Her search for genuine expression through formal experimentation creates works that engage the viewer on not only a visual or emotional but also a highly critical level.
Stocki’s work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in North America, and in 2008, was included in Freeway Balconies (Curated by Collier Schorr) at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin. In 2009 she was awarded the Tierney Fellowship, and in the Fall of 2010, Stocki will present her first solo exhibition in Calgary. In 2011 her images will be published in the TBW Subscription Series #3 and will be exhibited at La Maison Rouge in Paris. Her work is represented in numerous private collections as well as the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Stocki lives and works in New York.
Whitney Claflin (b. 1983, Providence, RI), like Stocki, engages in a dialectical discussion between medium and content. She intersperses small scale, painted abstractions with photo-mechanically created, abstract posters, which she frames to obfuscate their tactile differences. Rather than being interested in the original vocabularies of abstraction and their generative content, Claflin instead looks to their devolved states as styles that permeate popular culture and design today. Her work takes on these semiotic “shells” within the context of fine art, thus giving them the possibility of a new resonance.
Claflin received her BFA from RISD, 2005; most recently, she had a solo exhibition with Real Fine Arts, Brooklyn, 2010, and participated in The Open, a survey of emerging art, Deitch Projects, Long Island City, and Space Is A Place, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
Ian Campbell (b. 1982, Long Island, NY) is working on a series of vintage, found Polaroids – mounted onto salvaged book covers – on which he uses pastels to erase all figures, a viewer’s immediate point of identification. Similarly, in his music, which he performs with a band, his monochrome paintings, poetry or plays, Campbell is interested in existent, widely available material or modes of production. His evenhanded treatment of these through acts of removal, forced deterioration or arrangement invites a more contemplative engagement, which allows for the complexity of the original objects to emerge.
Campbell received his BFA from Hunter College (NY) and has shown in a number of group exhibitions , including at Passerby Gallery, Jack Tilton Gallery and Robbert Goff Gallery, all in New York. He lives and works in New York.