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Susan Leopold, Interiors Disrupted

Elizabeth Harris Gallery
529 West 20th Street, 212-463-9666
October 13 - November 12, 2011
Reception: Thursday, October 13, 6 - 8 PM
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The Elizabeth Harris Gallery is pleased to announce interiors disrupted, an exhibition of small wall constructions and an installation by Susan Leopold. This will be her second exhibition with the gallery.

In the catalog that accompanies the exhibition Nancy Princenthal writes:

“Confined by her loving husband to a sparsely furnished room once used as a nursery, the young woman who narrates Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic story, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), goes slowly and ingeniously mad. Susan Leopold borrowed the story’s title for an installation that anticipated her new body of work, a series of rooms not much bigger than shoeboxes that seem serenely composed only at first glance. Disposed between mirrored walls and lit obliquely from within are dollhouse chairs and side tables that enact mute scenarios of misperception, failed communication and solitude.

Leopold says that when she made these sculptures, she had in mind urban life’s paradoxical combination of isolation and forced intimacy – of ‘boundaries that slip away.’

The foreboding atmosphere of these dioramas is not dissimilar to the psychological climate in Hitchcock’s Rear Window; Leopold cites as well the influence of the charged spaces in Edward Hopper’s paintings. But it is critical to her work that the boxes – hybrids of image and object – are physically present. As viewers engage with them, moving from side to side in an effort to figure out how they work, the scenes seem to shift.

The earliest work in the exhibition, the installation Yellow Wallpaper (2008), is in fact time-based: its 8 foot tall central tower, which has mirrors at top and bottom, slowly rotates. Architectural details run up and down its sides, forming a Piranesian maze of stairways and ladders, windows and ledges that serve as screens for images thrown by three slide projectors mounted in the rooms corners. The projected images were shot in a turn-of-the-last-century mansion in Islip, New York, in keeping with Leopold’s long devotion to historically resonant structures. The more recent works, which rely instead on generic miniature furniture and simpler special eccentricities, are at once more culturally abstract and more emotionally specific.”

Susan Leopold was born in Chicago, Illinois. She lives and works in New York City. She holds a Masters Degree from the Interactive Telecommunication Program in the Tisch School of Arts, New York University, and a BFA from The School of Visual Arts, New York City. Leopold is a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship, New York Foundations for the Arts, and commissioned by The Metropolitan Transit Authority-Arts for Transit NYC.
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