SHOW ROOM presents...

Leah Singer

January 11, 2014 - February 8, 2014





SHOW ROOM presents its fourth exhibition in Gowanus: Leah Singer's Impressions, on view through February 8th. With printmaking and sculpture, Singer continues to explore her fascination with counterpoints and the flip sides of meaning. The tactile and the psychological run a woven path throughout the show, in duets of emptiness and fullness: embossed paper mimics lace patterns in a low-relief; bright metallic jewelry loses its sheen when dipped in rubber; emotive words in lithographs come from generic headlines; and silhouettes of the artist herself act as both portrait and abstraction. 

In Halifax Silhouettes, Singer first photographed her bundled up shadow on a winter day and then turned those images into printing plates. Her self-portrait becomes an empty shape, re-formed as a graphic, bold woman-warrior. Sequences of the images, using different color schemes and layering, create a sense of time—an army on the move calling to mind the bulbous running woman of Niki de Saint Phalle and the biomorphic shapes of Jean Arp.
Singer’s embossed impressions of lace, culled from 19th century French patterns, were made at a printmaking residency in Paris.  These simple impressions become portraits, and their gentle beauty celebrates the elaborate labor involved in their making and of their anonymous maker. The patterns that surface from the crocheted lace serve as artifacts of mapping and coding as a means of language and communication.  Likewise, there is an ambiguous remove in Singer’s photo lithographs—Messy, Clatter, Off, and Still—which display emotive words lost from their context in newspaper headlines.

Hanging sculptures made from glittery jewelry act as counterpoint to the prints. These iconic feminine objects used to attract and transform become chains dipped in black rubber. Singer turns the shine to punk and legitimizes the self-involvement of jewelry by making stand-alone aesthetic objects darker and more complicated than simple adornments. 

This exhibition as a whole marks a shift in Singer's work toward traditional materials—the thick printing papers and rich ink, detail of the embossed soft edges, the sensuous layering of colors. The show will be joined by performances by Leah Singer, Lee Ranaldo, and others.

Leah Singer’s ever-evolving body of work includes film, sculpture, photography, printmaking, book publishing, product design, illustration, and jewelry. Her experiments with 16mm film provided her with a signature style that developed into the use of modified projectors during live music performances. Copy, a self-published newspaper made since 1997 has received critical acclaim—it is in the artist book collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her work has been shown internationally at such institutions as: Magasin 3, Stockholm; Centre Pompidou, Paris; MACBA, Barcelona; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She lives in New York City with her husband and frequent collaborator Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth) and their two sons.





Halifax Silhouettes (Purple, Blue, Gray), relief print, 2013