Galerie Eva Presenhuber is pleased to present a solo exhibition by New York based artist Amy Granat (*1976), featuring new works.
Since completing her art studies at Bard College, in New York, Amy Granat has participated in exhibitions at venues such as the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, the Swiss Institute in New York, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, among others.
The majority of Amy Granat’s work consists of films and photography. Often creating abstract films without a camera, she uses the materials in untraditional ways. The destructive use of color or acid, the scratching and puncturing of the film strip: these manual modifications manifest themselves in a variety of reflections and distortions that, through the process of projection, generate pictorial shapes.
The artist’s oeuvre also includes films that are characterized by a stronger narrative thread. At the 2008 Whitney Biennial, for instance, she showed the film T.S.O.Y.W. (“The Sorrows of Young Werther”), a 200-minute double projection made in collaboration with the artist Drew Heitzler, in which a young protagonist travels across the vast American landscape on a motor-cycle, passing major earthwork sites along the way (Spiral Jetty, the Lightning Fields, the Sun Tunnels).
In a major new work on view in this exhibition, Amy Granat continues her interest in land art and nature as psychic space with “Landscape Film”, filmed at Cahokia Mounds, the site of a Native American city built between 700 and 1400 AD in what is now the state of Illinois. The ancient and sacred mounds, juxtaposed with modern day architecture, roads, flagpoles and walking paths, create a stirring portrait of man-made landscapes. Granat then took the film strip, shot in black-and-white, and hand painted the sections of it in monochrome washes of color, resulting in a film that combines film as a recorded image with a charged emotional space. While the camera frames, divides, crops and flattens, the color washes create fluid boundless movement. Alongside this film is a new sound piece, conceived in parallel with – but separate from – the film itself.
On show at Galerie Eva Presenhuber will be a new series of photographs, placed on table-tops, where different objects become abstract and evoke the interplay of light and shadow. A tension between the original and the reproduction, an object and its physical trace, leads to the dream-like reality typical of Granat’s work. Her choice of photograms, and her hand-made process in the dark-room, allows each image to be unique, undermining the tradition of photographic reproduction. Experiments with photographs began as early as the mid-19th century, but it was not until the 1920s that the technique gained wide popularity, with artists such as Man Ray or Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. However, Granat’s references reach beyond that to include the abstractions of Frank Stella, and “F.F.F”, her new series of paired photograms, refer to Stella’s 1969 painting “Flin Flon III”.
Central to Granat’s work is how she experiments with and defamiliarizes her media. Her films have a pictorial feel, while her photographic works are reminiscent of sculptures: scratched lines make up her projected images, and pieces of film strips appear on her photograms and collages, the exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber also includes two projections of “Black and Blue”, a new abstract cameraless film, as well as a backlit digital print on transparent paper.
In addition to a number of private collections, the artist is also represented in several public col-lections, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, or the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain in France.