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Christina Hejtmanek – Pour the Sun Upon the Ground

29C Ludlow Street, between Hester and Canal, 212-695-8201
East Village / Lower East Side
September 7 - October 23, 2011
Reception: Wednesday, September 7, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Blackston is pleased to present Pour the Sun Upon the Ground, Christina Hejtmanek’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. A reception will be held for the artist on Wednesday, September 7th from 6 to 8 p.m.

In her latest presentation of work Hejtmanek displays abstracted large-scale C-print photographs of the natural world, in addition to a video project incorporating the artist’s still color photographic images of landscapes captured - in passing and in various locations - over the course of many years. Hejtmanek mines the territories of elemental and temporal impermanence to convey a provocative and lyrical contemplation of places in-between points of departure and arrival, movement and stillness, photography and painting, and film and photography. The photographs, shot using traditional film, distill the natural world into painterly explorations of mark, hue, light and form, and examine the peripheries of impermanence.

In Sky Piece, Selections from August 20, 2001, while standing at the same geographical coordinates Hejtmanek captures the sky at regular one-hour intervals from sunrise to sunset, allowing celestial accumulations to inform the composition of the photographs. The serial quality of the images establishes a visual interconnectedness that examines the peripheries of impermanence, beyond the documentation of a subject.

In other more recent photographs presented in this exhibition, concrete natural phenomena become abstracted to the extent that it is not the literal image that bears weight, but the flattening of plane and choice of moment and markings by the artist that become paramount. In contrast to her previous work, which employs a strong sense of place, here Hejtmanek eliminates any reference points and we lose the identifying horizon line entirely. We are offered a dizzying birds eye view that is disorienting and mysterious.

In Hejtmanek’s video, To Be Here, she has assembled a range of photographic prints from her extensive body of work shot on the road. The images feature captured movement—from the artist’s purview from a car window – which are reminiscent of film stills. The prints are scanned and activated on the computer to create a ‘motion picture’.

The American road trip is a tradition in photography, with the open road symbolizing freedom, possibility, and escape. The road has also long been a topic for Hejtmanek, who travels the American landscape to capture moments of exploration. By including images from years of road travel the artist creates an unlikely itinerary, weaving through the varied landscape of states east and west, north and south—and eventually leading us to the sky. Hejtmanek essentially takes us full circle by animating still images of movement. The artist furthers a nostalgic and elusive sense of place, time and meaning that is rooted in sensibility and the unknown rather than in a specific location, point in time or revealed process.

Hejtmanek lives and works in New York City and Marfa, Texas. Recent solo exhibitions include A Path Between at Gallery 135, Hudson, NY, 2010 and Day without a Name, 2009 at Blackston. Selected group exhibitions include Tableaux Parisiens, Do Right Hall, Marfa, Texas, curated by Nicholas Knight, upcoming October, 2011; Contemporary Impressionism – Light, Color, Form, Time, curated by Lauren McCaffrey, LA Art House, Los Angeles, CA, 2010; Letter from an Old Folks Home on the Moon Club der Polnischen Versager, curated by Billy Miller, Berlin, Germany, 2010; Lost Horizon, Exile, curated by Billy Miller, Berlin, Germany, 2010; In a Box, American Can Company, curated by Billy Miller, 2008; What Comes Naturally, Fake Estate, curated by Glynnis McDaris, 2008; Temporal Pause, W52 Gallery (Dinaburg Arts LLC), NY, NY, 2006; Fresh Meat, CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 2004; and Bystander, Andrea Rosen Gallery, NY, NY, 2002. The artist’s work is included in many private collections and in the collection of Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, NM. Hejtmanek’s photographs have been featured in publications such as Patrick McMullan Magazine, K-48 (Volumes 2 and 5) and Catholic, 2003. Hejtmanek was Artist in Residence at Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas in 2001. She attended Parsons School of Design, NY, NY, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA and Tufts University in Medford, MA.
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