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Indepth Arts News:

"Ayse Erkmen: Busy Colors"
2005-09-10 until 2005-11-27
Sculpture Center
Long Island City, NY, USA United States of America

SculptureCenter is pleased to present Busy Colors by internationally renowned artist Ayse Erkmen, commissioned through SculptureCenters Artist-in-Residence program. Born in Istanbul, Turkey and now living there and in Berlin, Germany, Erkmen is well known in Europe for her spectacular public projects and subtle architectural interventions. Busy Colors will be the artists first solo exhibition in the United States and will be on view September 10 - November 27, 2005 with an opening reception on Saturday, September 10, 4-6 pm. Busy Colors is a provocative and dramatic installation that works with and off of SculptureCenters 100-year-old steel and brick building.

Twin images of a small, jewel-like metal object (a sculpture of a landmine) are scaled up to billboard proportions and cover the entire 3,000 square foot surface of the courtyard. Inside, SculptureCenters main exhibition space remains empty of objects but is activated by the automated movement of the buildings 20-ton gantry crane, twenty-five feet above the ground. Attached to the crane are expanses of two different translucent fabrics, which, as the gantry moves from one end of the building to the other, alternately create vertical and horizontal colored planes, changing the dimensions and experience of the room. Simultaneously beautiful and menacing, Busy Colors emphasizes surfaces, thresholds, and barriers as sites where multiple social, cultural, and political conditions temporarily reveal themselves.

Erkmens projects and installations respond to specific sites and contexts, often using physical displacement to engender perceptual and epistemological shifts. Shipped Ships (2001) was a project commissioned by DeutscheBank for which the artist brought three passenger boats to the Main river in Frankfurt, Germany - one from Japan, one from Venice and one from Istanbul. The boats came with their crews and for a nominal fee residents of Frankfurt could ride up or down the river in these foreign boats, undoubtedly changing the way they saw their own city. Working indoors, she often adds little to a space but rather manipulates aspects of the architecture. In Das Haus (1993), for instance, Erkmen simply lowered the galleries fluorescent lights to a few feet above the floor. What had been a mere aspect of the rooms infrastructure became a sculptural object that also restricted viewers movements within the space.

Ayse Erkmen has completed several major projects in Europe over the last decade and has been included in many international exhibitions including Skulptur Projekte Münster 1997; Manifesta 1; the second and fourth Istanbul Bienniales; and the 2000 Kwangju Biennial. She has presented solo projects at Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt); Magasin 3 (Stockholm); Secession (Vienna); Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, U.K.) and Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (Switzerland).

SculptureCenter’s Artist-in-Residence program is supported by the Kraus Family Foundation and the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation. Additional support for Ayse Erkmen’s residency and exhibition has been provided by the Moon and Stars Project, the Cultural Expansion Initiative of the American Turkish Society, and The Marmara-Manhattan Hotel, New York City.

SculptureCenter’s Artist-In-Residence program was initiated in 1987 with an installation by Petah Coyne. The program is designed to support large-scale work by artists who have not yet had significant exposure in New York. Artists who have participated in the program include Robert Chambers, Charles Goldman, Rona Pondick, Beverly Semmes, Olav Westphalen, and others.

Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new work and presents exhibits by emerging and established, national and international artists. In 2001, SculptureCenter purchased a former trolley repair shop in Long Island City, Queens. This facility, designed by artist/designer Maya Lin, includes 6,000 square feet of interior exhibition space, offices, and outdoor exhibition space.

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