Exhibition

Sarah Bechter

23 May 2024 – 22 Jun 2024

Regular hours

Thursday
11:00 – 18:00
Friday
11:00 – 18:00
Wednesday
11:00 – 18:00

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Someday

New York
New York, United States

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Someday is happy to announce “Neurotic Independence” an exhibition of new work by Sarah Bechter.

About

Bechter’s practice revolves around the dichotomies of painting. Through material, formal, and representational means, her work dissects the subtle tensions between freedom and exploitation, particularly in the context of artistic production. Dreamlike compositions push the viewer to search for traces of the familiar; grasping hands, contorted elbows, the silhouette of a swan, an elongated stretch. These moments of recognition are fleeting, suspended between the hazy recollections and fantasies contained within - or by - the canvas. Shadows and limbs dissolve into contrasting backgrounds, or intertwine with the contours of nearby figures.  Drawing inspiration from surrealism, Bechter constructs a realm where the seen and the unseen coexist, rather than confront each other, within the same plane. Color further amplifies these entangled dynamics - vivid blues and purples bleed into dusty reds and muted whites, while shadows and highlights negotiate within the foreground. 

For this exhibition, Bechter presents a collection of new paintings that explore the idea of liquidity as a form of resistance - resistance to the limited space of the canvas, prevailing power structures, stagnation, productivity, and precision. Echoing the writing of Luce Irigaray, who describes women as fluid/liquid beings which can never be measured precisely - always too little or too much -  Bechter’s paintings illustrate the potency of boundlessness. By rejecting harsh borders and finite spatial allocations, her works embrace the strength of fluidity and flux. Bechter’s painterly process reflects a similar journey - defined by the search for (rather than capture of) a final image. She begins by sprinkling some pigment on a wet canvas, creating a material topography to navigate in pursuit of the forms that emerge. Guided by this accidental map and her intuition, Sarah lets each painting acquire a degree of autonomy and begin a tête-à-tête of layers, scratches, and blends. Some shapes are found in the initial pigment traces or the faint hollowness of the untouched canvas, while others are revealed in the soft hugs of the background. Likewise, the vague, detached titles of her works refrain from pinpointing concrete subjects, instead offering a series of scenarios, propositions, and vignettes.

Through their hypnotic instability, Bechter’s paintings assert a distinct autonomy, demanding acknowledgment of their own ambivalence. Each canvas prompts inquiry while withholding definitive authority; observation and interpretation become active engagements, dictated by the rhythm of each piece. One of Bechter's aims is to instigate a perpetual state of seeing, or unresolved dialogue. Sweeping, confident brushstrokes delineate subjects, while simultaneously obscuring legibility - concealing distinct features as they melt into a complex, fuzzy background. An undulating arm morphs into a neckline; a translucent red scar gives way to a flame. Both pursuant and evasive, the paintings become a liquid rival of observation - metamorphosing in real time, as if somehow reacting to the way in which they are being viewed. Rejecting a single, rigid perspective - a position Bechter ascribes to patriarchal systems — the works instead embrace disparate interpretation and a multiplicity of meaning. 

Sarah Bechter (born 1989) lives and works in Vienna. She studied painting at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and has exhibited at Belvedere 21 (AT), Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (CH), Kuenstlerhaus Bregenz (AT), Gallery Ann Mazzoti (CH), Intersticio Madrid (ESP), Galeria Pelaires (ESP), Dock 20 (AT), Exile Gallery (AT), tart/Galerie Thoman (AT), Galerie Kandlhofer (AT), Kunstverein Schattendorf (AT), Eastcontemporary (IT/FR), Kunstverein Bludenz (AT), among others. Her works are represented in several public collections such as Artothek des Bundes, Belvedere 21; City of Vienna, Wien Museum; State of Vorarlberg; Hypo Landesbank; Illwerke AG. She is current resident at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in Brooklyn, New York (2024).

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Sarah Bechter

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