JTF (just the facts): A paired show featuring artist designed installations, in both the main floor and basement gallery spaces.
The folllowing works are included in the show:
- 3 color pencil and collage on digital prints, 2018, 2023, sized roughly 5×4, 20×14 inches, unique
- 3 folded Epson Luster prints, 2017, sized roughly 16×13 inches, in editions of 3
- 1 color pencil and collage on digital print, 2016, sized roughly 40×31, unique
- 1 Ultrachrome print on LED lightbox, 2021, sized roughly 16x13x4 inches, in an edition of 10
- 4 Ultrachrome prints, plaster, false ceiling, and wood in plexiglass container, sized 12x8x3, 17x2x2, 8x8x2 inches, unique
- 1 Ultrachrome print with 3D incisions and neon backing paper on aluminum, 2019, sized 13×19 inches, unique
- 2 Ultrachrome prints, 2015, 2019, sized 46×60 inches (or the reverse), in editions of 5
(Installation shots below.)
Comments/Context: Given the combination of the flattening nature of the camera’s eye, which takes three dimensional space and collapses it into a two dimensional representation, and the tradition of presenting photographic prints hung on the wall, the spatial dynamics of a photography show tend to feel consistently uniform, both inside and outside the frame. But this paired show of the work of Julie Boserup and Marleen Sleeuwits emphatically jumps out of those constraining boundaries, bringing photography into varied dialogue with sculpture, architecture, and installation, and along the way reconfiguring the spaces of the gallery in bold ways.
Boserup’s engagement with photography comes through collage, where she reorients archival images of buildings, interiors, and other architectural spaces with cuts, folds, reassembly, drawing, and other techniques. One framed work on view here finds her upending a sleek lobby image with squares of blue sky and pink sunset, and illusionistically bringing the outdoors inside. A group of others uses lyrical folds, twists, overlaps, and interruptions to reimagine images of buildings. And still other works employ geometric circles and stripes of varying sizes and widths to turn and reassemble interior space, with color (especially blue) used to reimagine black-and-white scenes.
Boserup’s installation (in the upstairs space) starts with a 1947 hotel interior photograph by the Wurts Bros., the image discovered in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York. She covers three walls of the gallery and incorporates the existing marble fireplace in her design, mixing imagery, color fields of light blue and black, straight wooden sticks (painted various colors), and a circular mirror, creating an angled tumbling effect as the circles rotate around the small room and the original image is fragmented and repurposed. The sticks can be seen as linear interventions or drawn lines, reorienting the geometries of the space and playing off the strict horizontals of the existing floor and ceiling moldings, and the mirror alternately reflects different positional layers, depending on the vantage point of the viewer. The result is an elegantly enveloping experience, like being placed inside one of Boserup’s collages.
Sleeuwits takes an alternate approach, starting with anonymous spaces and then adding interventions and installations which she then photographs, and in some cases further interrupts once the images are physical prints. Using pastel paints, paper, extension cords, fluorescent lights, and foam blocks, she reconfigures the interior spaces, creating patterns and geometries that are then captured by the camera. Several reimagined interiors are on view in this show, with an actual lightbox placed behind one print to make the light bars even more bright. Other recent works use various textural ceiling tiles as a substrate for sculptural interventions made of globular plaster, the two-sided works then hung perpendicular to the wall in plexiglass boxes.
Sleeuwits’s installation (in the lower level gallery) not only bathes the low ceilinged space in light pink, it builds out from the walls in an up-and-down geometric trail, like blocks added iteratively that bend around like ductwork. The surfaces are either mirrored foil, neon orange plastic, or covered with photographic reproductions of cast concrete, making the roughness and irregularities of the material actually smooth, but also perforated by actual burned holes. Her maze-like installation reconfigures the space with reflections and subtle illusions, connecting back to her photographs that achieve similar effects.
In both installations, the scale of the respective gallery rooms becomes a defining factor for the interventions, immersing the visitor in the aesthetics that the artist’s explore in their photographs. Each room becomes its own artwork, as well as vessel for others, expanding the ideas out from inside the frames. Standing within their environments, we can better appreciate their artistic points of view, the inside/outside tension of the spatial relationships reinforcing their complementary approaches to arranging compositional elements.
Collector’s POV: The works by Julie Boserup are priced between $1600 and $7000 based on size, while the works by Marleen Sleeuwits are priced between $2400 and $14000, again based on size. Neither artist has a consistent secondary market presence, so gallery retail likely remains the best option for those collectors interested in following up.