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New Yorker Review: Lauren Semivan at Bonni Benrubi Gallery

Posted By Administration, Saturday, October 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013

OBSERVATORY


Through October 26

 

The haunted interiors of Detroit-based artist Lauren Semivan appear almost as elusive dreams- they seem concrete but half remembered. Semivan's work combines performance, drawing, photography and installation. They also involve memory. Layers of wall drawings for example are reworked- erased or reinvented. The mark of the past, even if erased, still shows signs of presence. This treatment to the drawings seems to be but a symbol for other shifts in the space and Semivan's sense for memory appears also to be somewhat nostalgic. Small postcards mounted on walls seem saved and precious, as do stacks of books, an antique lamp, and a small ship. Semivan's treatment of collected organic samples of leaves, grass, and other flora feel protected and mournful. Often these and other objects are hung as if in an effort to preserve them. Drawings, fabrics, and other atmospheric props swirl as a storm around any delicate object in the frame. The figure appears at times as well, but never wholly or in a confrontational way. The grating anxiety we sometimes feel in these black and white painterly scenes floats between a past that is both romantic and deteriorated, making our present just out of reach. We find ourselves scratching the walls as Semivan does in Labyrinth trying to reach whatever fundamental truth she may be after.


For more information on the exhibition, please visit Bonni Benrubi Gallery


New Yorker Review

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