Jon: Devorah Sperber knows what you see…



After Warhol 2008

Last night Paul and I checked out the new group exhibition at The Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft, Manuf®actured , and I have to say that (more so than usual) I was totally blown away by some of the pieces on display. The overall theme of the show involves artwork that utilizes small scale repurposed items to create larger scale sculptural works. Mediums are extremely varied between artists, and include objects such as scotch tape, plastic army men, lipstick tubes, zippers, and combs. Each artist has found unexpected ways to manipulate these normally mundane objects. Some are well executed but still fall flat (Cat Chow’s zipper dresses and skirts were very uninspired, Fashion Design 101 projects), while the brilliance of others clearly stood out.

My absolute favorite artist of the evening was Devorah Sperber, whose mathematical and truelly postmodern sculptural pieces wowed everyone in attendance. The majority of her body of work is created using a methodical set of steps as follows:

1.)First, she finds a prexisting piece of art.

2.)Then she pixilates it using a computer

3.)Then she recreated the pixels three dimensionally using unexpected objects (thread spools, pen caps)

4.)She physically distorts the sculpture so that it can only be viewed properly via a secondary reflection (a curved mirror or a glass ball)

The end results are at once shockingly complex and ridiculously simple.

Sperber’s work takes a large step beyond many similiarly postmodern and referential contemporaries by not only reevaluating representations of well known art, but by also (literally and physically) commenting on the skewed way in which we as viewers filter that art through a preconcieved lense.

Two views of Lie Like a Rug 2000-01

The piece at the very top is made up of hundeds of thread spools that can only be decoded by looking through a small glass orb which shrinks and flips the image, revealing a Warholian soup can. In the bottom images, a traditional rug is recreated using pen caps. The object only appears flat and life-like when viewed through a convex mirror.

If you live in Portland you must check this (free) exhibit out. It will be on view August 28th- January 4th.


1 Response to “Jon: Devorah Sperber knows what you see…”

  1. 1 The Bearded Traveler
    September 5, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    that is neato; right here in our town, eh?
    you don’t say!

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