As part of the Annual Guide to Galleries, Museums and Artists (A.i.A.‘s August issue), we preview the 2014-15 season of museum exhibitions worldwide. In addition to offering their own top picks, our editors asked select artists, curators and collectors to identify the shows they are looking forward to. Here, artist N. Dash talks about Liz Deschenes.
“The press release for Liz Deschenes’s show at the Walker says only that she is creating new work. The vague description is appropriate, perhaps, because Deschenes’s projects are resolutely physical and best experienced in the real. The first time I encountered one of her exhibitions was in 2009. She had created an installation based on polymath Herbert Bayer’s 1935 drawing “Diagram of 360 Degrees Field of Vision.” Deschenes arranged photograms around the space of the gallery. One was hanging from the ceiling while others were placed on the ground or mounted on the walls at various angles. What appear to be silvery panels are actually photographs. They oxidize as time passes, registering the fugitive nature of light.
“There was a striking economy of means in this photographic cave. Deschenes found a seemingly simple way to make viewers active participants in the work. The panoptic photograms ‘saw’ visitors to the extent that anyone in the space subtly altered the light cast onto each sheet. At the same time, viewers could see their own imperfect reflections in the surfaces. Standing in the gallery felt like being in nature–one was immersed in a sensate experience.
“Deschenes’s work is informed by a rigorous attention to the history of photography. But what speaks to me is the way she captures light. Deschenes often uses moonlight as the source of illumination, creating an ineffable feeling. I find that in much of her work, the order and permanence of architecture and the chaos of nature come together in an otherworldliness that brings the outside in.”
“Liz Deschenes” will appear at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Nov. 22, 2014-Dec. 6, 2015.
N. Dash is an artist based in New York.
The exhibition dates above have been modified from what originally appeared, according to updated information from the museum.