NEW YORK, NY.-
This winter, the Whitney Museum of American Art
presents the first solo New York museum exhibition of the work of Elad Lassry, a Los Angelesbased artist who works in photography and film. Curated by senior curatorial assistant Gary Carrion-Murayari, Elad Lassry: Three Films opens January 22, in the second-floor Kaufman Astoria Studios Film & Video Gallery.
Lassrys images derived from portraiture, advertising, and nature photography investigate the way the meaning of a picture can shift in different social or historical contexts. Often drawing on pre-existing source material, his work explores such fluctuations of meaning in images of remarkable visual clarity and precision. Deliberately projected on a small scale, these three films, shot in either 16mm or Super 16mm, reveal the picture as a dynamic, changing object.
Untitled (Agon) (2008) captures two dancers performing a pas de deux from choreographer George Balanchines 1957 ballet Agon. Basing his camera placement on an instructional diagram from dancer and choreographer Doris Humphreys 1958 book The Art of Making Dances, Lassry investigates the way the camera reframes and transforms the dance. By using fixed camera positions and a predetermined structure, Lassry draws on American Structural film of the 1960s and 1970s.
In Untitled (2008), Lassry restages a photograph from a 1971 science textbook in which a group of young people sit on an optical illusion of a house to illustrate perception. Lassry bypasses the images original use and instead focuses on the individual models, turning the image into a psychological portrait.
Zebra and Woman (2007) alternates its focus from the body of a zebra to the face of a woman. Through slow, deliberate camera movements, Lassry captures both surfaces in exacting detail to highlight the psychological gap between them and explore the transformative potential of portraiture. By focusing on surfaces and histories of the objects and individuals he captures, Lassry asks us to reassess our perception of even the most quotidian images.
Lassry (b. 1977) received a BFA in both Film and Studio Art from the California Institute of the Arts in 2003, and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Southern California in 2007. His first solo exhibition was at Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles in 2007. His work is included in such public collections as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Israel Museum. His work was on view this fall at the Art Institute of Chicago and he is currently participating in the 2008 California Biennial. Elad Lassry: Three Films is his first New York museum exhibition.