Elizabeth Yamin: Ex Machina
Exhibition Dates: March 31, 2015 - April 25, 2015
Reception: Thursday, April 2, 6 - 8 pm
Elizabeth Yamin continues to draw inspiration from her studio location in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She has found a catalyst for her new work in the recent spurt of building and re-building activity at the Yard: “There has been an influx of heavy equipment, especially cranes –on wheels and barges, as well as on the old tracks, still in use. Piers are being demolished to make way for new ones, and some of the giant track cranes are being dismantled. Cranes on barges pull pilings the size of telephone poles from Wallabout Bay, and drive in new ones. The neck of a crane is severed from its body and falls onto the waiting 12’ x 12’s with a controlled thud.”
Yamin’s work explores these machines as externalizations of the human body and the ways in which it participates in what is seen. Cranes create the sensation of swinging, pulleys give a lift, giant hooks suggest a dangerous power. The arc of the crane’s movements, the graceful lifting, swinging and setting down of huge loads, and the inner mechanisms revealed in the process of its deconstruction are recurring motifs. Circles reference the motive forces that drive the machines, stacks of tires suggest a spinal column. Yamin is intrigued by mysteries of scale, by the fact that the perception of enormous size is carried out by the microscopic equipment in our eyes and brains. Perhaps, her work could be described as a form of reverse engineering. She strives to create a pictorial language that conveys some of the excitement, confusion and pleasure of working in an environment of marvelous complexity.
Yamin has had one-person shows at The Painting Center and St. John’s University in NYC, at WORKS and The Stadler Gallery in Maine. Group exhibitions include The 183rd Annual Invitational at The National Academy Museum, NYC; The Persistence of Paint, Bendheim Gallery, Greenwich, CT; Sideshow Nation III, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn; and Paperazzi IV, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn. She has received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and an Arts Education Fellowship from The Getty Foundation.