frosch&portmann is pleased to present Eva Lake. Judd Women Targets, the first New York solo exhibition by Portland (OR) based artist Eva Lake.
In her masterful collages, Eva Lake creates wondrous new wholes from fragmented parts. Included in Judd Women Targets are photomontages from three bodies of work, The Judd Montages, Anonymous Women, and the Targets series.
This exhibition marks the inaugural showing of Lake’s Judd Montages, some of her earliest works. The artist found the Judd images used in these collages in an illegal sublet in New York, where she lived for ten years. The apartment had belonged to an art dealer who left behind an art magazine from the 1960s featuring Donald Judd. Inspired by Judd’s stark forms, Lake held onto the magazine for over two decades before eventually cutting into it. In creating the Judd Montages, the artist wanted to add vitality to works famous for their austerity and non-content. In doing so, Lake is playing with works from the canon of art history that are not initially meant to be played with. This exercise results in dazzlingly colorful montages that re-imagine Judd’s minimalist sculptures as the protagonists in various glamorous and often dreamlike landscapes.
For Lake, The Judd Montages laid a conceptual and visual foundation for her acclaimed Targets series. The artist collected vintage magazines long before she began working in collage and was always intrigued by nostalgic images of old Hollywood glamour. In her teenage years, Lake would visit her local Rifle Range and steal the shooting practice targets. The Targets series mines images of known feminine narratives, stories familiar to everyone. By combining images of starlets and models with targets, Lake subverts the notion of the male gaze. The artist explores the duality of a female artist’s life; she makes objects but she also is the object. The women that populate the Targets series look back defiantly from the crosshairs of the viewer’s gaze, challenging and provoking.
In her most recent work, the Anonymous Women series, Eva Lake turns her attention to unknown beauties. Many are from previous eras, before models became celebrities known by name. Using sections of women’s faces, which Lake likens to cut-up body parts, the artist explores the concept of incompleteness. How does one distinguish between parts and wholes? In the glorious artifice of Lake’s works, female beauty is dangerous, and the women appear where you least expect them to be. The woman is transformed into the ocean, the sky, the forest. She becomes the skyscraper, the Pantheon, the illuminated manuscript. She’s also the wall, the décor or the carpet you step on. Eva Lake’s photomontages engage in a dialogue with art history, evoking artists from Jasper Johns and Richard Hamilton, to Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. In Lake’s works, we sense that the goddess of art history has collided with the artist’s modern day vision.