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Artists' Opening Reception: Simone Kappeler and Philippe Monsel at Esther Woerdehoff Gallery

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 27, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013
Through America

Exhibition Dates: October 8 - November 2, 2013

Opening with the Artists:
Tuesday, October 8th

6:00 - 9:00 pm

Two parallel visions of American culture will be presented through the works of Simone Kappeler and Philippe Monsel. The artists' works are separated by time but together are linked not only by subject, but a somewhat cinematic approach. For Kappeler this is achieved by mood and framing, and for Monsel through multiple and repetitious vision.

The images of Kappeler are charged by sentiments that elude us, and there is something tangible and yet fleeting to her frames. This may be because the works date to a trip she took to the US in 1981, or because she employed a toy camera to make the work. Probably both truths lend to a just-out-of-reach feeling as well as a nostalgic vision of America. Some of the images are easily read, White Sands I, 28.6.1981 is an idilic family day at the beach; Atascandero Drive-In eating II is a daily routine; and Mississippi III, 16.6.1981 an environmental-type portrait of a couple. More interesting and dramatic works leave details to the imagination. Cropping and framing fragments images and when not everything is revealed we are left to connect the dots and create the stories left in these frames. In Erie-See, 10.6.1981 a boy turns to look over his shoulder and out the window of a red car at something unknown; Elk City, Oklahoma, Pool III, 23.6.1981 features a shadowed figure in a pool, and we can't tell if he is facing towards or away from us; and Garten Maconi II, 30.5.1981 is strangely lacking presence and even the time of day seems confused. Color is rich, almost dripping like wet paint from the frames, and indeed there is a painterly quality to the color works. There are a few black and white prints as well that engage a more poetic tone but are still dynamic and often unexplained.

Monsel's triptych Mansour Coca-Cola is the result of much labor and many compositions- over 300 photographs were drawn together to make this piece. This immense work reveals the day of a delivery driver in Manhattan in front of his gleaming red Coca-Cola truck. Multiple levels of reading engage and unfold as a metaphor of the American dream. The juxtaposition of a variety of scenes work to interrupt time and space to question both reality and its representation.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit Esther Woerdehoff Gallery

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