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DeAnna Maganias, The View From Bed

Thomas Erben Gallery
526 West 26th Street, 4th Floor, 212-645-8701
February 15 - March 17, 2007
Reception: Thursday, February 15, 6 - 8:30 PM
Web Site

Strongly influenced by architecture and high modernist form, DeAnna Maganias explores urban reality through a voyeuristic filter that cohesively exposes the personal elements which minimalism had previously suppressed. Reductionist tendencies towards the objective are complicated by her work’s admission of the inherently subjective nature of consciousness.

In this exhibition’s namesake piece, The View From Bed (the title having been derived from The View From Nowhere by Thomas Nagel), Maganias constructed a pared-down, inverted scale model of her studio’s bedroom, complete with four walls, ceiling and floor. The access point for the viewer into this uninhabited, monastic dwelling is the volume of the bed, which has been isolated and removed. While the simplicity and self-evident nature of this boxed-in, architectural environment might normally provide the viewer with a removed experience; placing the vantage point at the artist’s abdicated position pushes us into a unique stance wherein an objective viewing experience is directed to a foreign, subjective position.

Sutton Place South : Master Bath, Guest-bath and Trash-room are three separate acrylic on canvas works with stretchers shaped to the exact dimensions of the rooms they are named for. The white and gray paint has been repetitively applied and sanded to build an obsessive imitation in which control leads to seductive perfection. We are confronted with fetishized works that point out the degree to which we have internalized our physical relationship to the space around us.

The impressionist hope of capturing the transient, the momentary and contemporary life is materialized and extended in “The Citicorp Building, Sunset”. This twenty-three minute film, shot in real time, is of a modernist styled, steel-framed, commercial office tower as it reflects a warmly colored setting sun and the waters of the East River. The inherent nature of consciousness rarely affords the opportunity, or capability, to be fully aware of itself, however, in Magania’s work, we are able to consider it in a focused and varied manner.
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