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Helen Altman, Greetings from Home

DCKT Contemporary (Bowery)
195 Bowery, 212-741-9955
East Village / Lower East Side
February 20 - March 21, 2009
Reception: Friday, February 20, 6 - 8 PM
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DCKT Contemporary presents HELEN ALTMAN’s solo exhibition of mixed media works. ALTMAN explores notions of reality versus artificiality in everyday life. Her interest in mimicry and replicas results in objects that are convincing and sincere while simultaneously absurd in their obvious artificiality.

ALTMAN’s Goldfish is a 45 gallon aquarium filled with a multitude of individual cast plastic fish. The faux goldfish in the “feeder tank,” as well as several goldfish bowls on view, address concepts of individuality, loss of identity, overcrowding, separation and loneliness.

Lotus Bed consists of lotus leaf skulls on top of a chenille bedspread with cocoons sewn on. The skulls resemble something an insect would make and the cocoons mimic wasp eggs sometimes laid on living caterpillars that serve as the host for the growing wasp larvae. Here, the bedspread itself (“chenille” translates from French as “caterpillar”) serves as host. The bed becomes a victim and the stand-in for the absent sleeper.

With Weeping Iron, a dialogue between an inanimate object and the missing user is created. A clothes iron sits in an empty laundry basket atop a pile of wrinkled clothing. The iron is in fact a working fountain, weeping as if trapped and overwhelmed by an extraordinary task which it cannot complete.

Also on view will be a selection of ALTMAN’s torch drawings and wire birds.

ALTMAN’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Recent solo exhibitions include the Galveston Arts Center, Dunn and Brown Contemporary (Dallas) and Moody Gallery (Houston). Recent group exhibitions include Walter Maciel Gallery (Los Angeles), University of North Texas Art Gallery (Denton) and the Chelsea Art Museum (New York)

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