Seeing Things is an exhibition of new photographs and sculptures that continue O’Keefe’s exploration of light and dimensional space. The photographs in this exhibition are still life arrangements of painted wood blocks and planes. The sculptures are wall hung painted plywood and mirror constructions, the first sculptures she has exhibited in over a decade.
These photographs are both straightforward and strange. There is a familiar tactile weight to the objects, yet the space they occupy is curious, flattened, twisted; impossible to measure with certainty. The camera’s lens mediates the collision of known and unknown – a lens is not an eye, an image cannot capture space. Color and light are mutable, the world is a slippery place. The sculptures behave in much the same way, but here the lens is replaced by a mirror. Space is extended, inverted, displaced. Built space and its reflected image space fold together in a continuous loop.
The problem of what makes space ‘real’ is at the center of both bodies of work. The way our eyes reconcile our understanding of the world, usually a seamless and transparent situation, is open to question. The dissonance between experience and image is apparent, and this uncertainty makes possible a kind of naïve perceptual awareness; seeing things as they are.
Erin O’Keefe (b. 1962, Bronxville, NY) lives in New York City. O’Keefe received a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornell University. The artist’s work has been exhibited in the U.S. and internationally at Wave Hill, The Photographer’s Gallery (London), Seventeen Gallery (London), The Wing (Washington D.C.), Albada Jelgersma Gallery (Amsterdam), Transmitter Gallery, McKenzie Fine Art, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, Morgan Lehman Gallery, and Sandra Gering Inc., among others. O’Keefe’s work has been reviewed or featured in Artforum, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Vogue, VICE Magazine, The Huffington Post, Collector Daily, Artspace Magazine, Artsy Magazine, and Paper Journal.