MARCK + SPERBER: Through the Looking Glass

Gilles Clement Gallery

Nov. 20, 2024 - Nov. 30, 2018

45 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, 06830
PHONE 203.489.3556

Going full throttle with their creative license to manipulate reality and perception, the two artists featured in the upcoming exhibit at GILLES CLEMENT GALLERY utilize their respective mediums to draw the viewer into a wonderland of optical illusion, playful visual layering and unexpected use of space and scale. The human visage and form take the thematic center stage, presented in the gargantuan pixilated enlargements of Devorah Sperber’s thread spool installations, and the miniaturized women of MARCK’s video sculptures, dancing in an elegant decorative case, trapped in a spinning tank, or posing as the power source of a light box. Invited to experience the effect of the proverbial ‘rabbit hole’, the viewer will discover a gallery presentation at once foreign, yet familiar; strange, yet enchanting. The walls come alive with multiple moving picture screens, constructed in wood or metal, brightly painted or distressed; wind blowing, water running, colors draping. In contrast, Sperber’s flat inverted pointillist constructions seem oddly remote and static; yet, upon closer inspection – literally through a crystal orb – the images flip upright and appear in realistic 3-D form. Expect no ordinary art browse – the eyes are engaged as never before, the brain challenged and teased, and the spirits uplifted by this delightful pairing of conceptual and technical artistry.

Devorah Sperber is an American installation artist known for creating works that act as optical illusions. The pieces featured in this exhibit employ thousands of spools of thread to create pixilated versions of iconic works of art by famous artists. Her naming scheme for these works generally follows the format “After [Artist]/[Work]”. For example, her creation of the Mona Lisa using spools of thread is titled After the Mona Lisa 8. The spools are hung in long, adjacent columns to create a pointillist, inverted abstraction of a famous painting. When viewed by the naked eye, they are barely recognizable. When viewed through an optical device, usually a “viewing sphere” (a 2” diameter transparent orb) placed several feet in front of the spools), the abstractions are inverted and shrunk into a remarkably detailed and faithful image of the original painting. The resulting image is usually distorted the way objects are distorted when viewed through a fisheye lens. Sperber has wittily used the fish eye; in her rendering of the Mona Lisa, the Mona Lisa’s “elusive smile appears, changes, and disappears in a dramatic and humorous fashion”. She deconstructs familiar images, so that the brain can reconstruct them, addressing the way we think we see versus the way the brain actually processes visual information.

The video sculptures by Swiss artist MARCK are more than a simple combination of video and sculpture: They are a logic consequence of his extensive examination with films and videos, multimedia based projects, music, sculptural and kinetic objects. The technical media available to him allow MARCK to cross borders of perception. The video is not only a messenger (of a visual message); the sculptural frame is a spatial dimension which he seeks to break through. The examination of humans and their world of feelings are central to MARCK’s work. It is based on the search for a combination of influence from the outside and inner conditions. The women in MARCK’s video installations are locked in narrow spaces. They function as symbols of the societal limitations in which women find themselves. At the same time they function as patterns for inter-gender relationships and communication. His women are limited in their movement, yet use it to explore the narrow rooms provided for them – seeking dissolution of boundaries and physical limitations. Rather than serving as a mouthpiece for typical women’s topics, MARCK chooses the woman as a symbol for his observations of society. His works are not meant to provide answers or targeted interpretations, but rather to raise questions and inspire considerations.

MARCK + SPERBER: Through the Looking Glass
On view from October 12 through November 15, 2018
Gilles Clement Gallery 45 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich CT 06830.


Return to list of all exhibitions