Catharine Clark Gallery presents Edge of Alchemy, a film and solo exhibition by Stacey Steers on view February 25 – April 15, 2017. Funded through generous support from Creative Capital and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Edge of Alchemy concludes a trilogy of films including Phantom Canyon (2006) and Night Hunter (2011) that examine the psychological terrain of women’s inner worlds. By way of a painstaking and labor-intensive process, Steers assembled over 6,000 handworked photo collages, re-imagining American silent film actors Mary Pickford and Janet Gaynor in a phantasmagoric narrative of creation and monstrous hybridities inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Fragments of historical etchings and photographs are combined to construct surreal settings: dreamlike topographies where barren fields are covered with dead bees and chartreuse flowers, and dark recesses where laboratories lost in time are outfitted with strange ironwork and ominous red beakers. Steers’ collage technique is layered, intimate and suggestive, and the fantastastical lifeworlds her collages embody reflect upon “the way we process experience and form memories subliminally,” as noted by the artist. Edge of Alchemy also reveals the startling emotional immediacy in early silent film performances by lingering over “fleeting expressions and extend(ing) them in a way that” richly expands what Steers cogently defines as “a state of interiority.” The film is accompanied by an original score by Lech Jankowski (Brothers Quay) and will be screened in its entirety during the exhibition’s run.
Catharine Clark Gallery’s presentation of Edge of Alchemy also features a selection of original handworked collages, a suite of gelatin silver prints and three new sculptural objects that incorporate media from the film, Catharine Clark Gallery is also pleased to debut a new series of curtains and scarves produced in collaboration with OPEN EDITIONS, which will incorporate floral motifs from Edge of Alchemy. The gallery will subsequently present Edge of Alchemy alongside a selection of works from the exhibition at Art on Paper 2017 in New York City from March 2 – 5, 2017.
Stacey Steers is known for her process-driven, labor-intensive animated films composed of thousands of handmade works on paper. Her recent work employs images appropriated from early cinematic sources, from which she constructs original, experimental narratives. In these projects she investigates the nature of longing and how it provokes and mediates experience. Steers’ animated short films have been presented internationally and have received numerous awards. Her films have been included in the Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and have screened at venues such as the National Gallery of Art and MoMA. In 2017, her film Edge of Alchemy will be presented at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival.
More recently, Steers has expanded her work to include collaborative installations that join invented, three-dimensional production elements with film loops, creating a new context for experiencing her films. Steers’ installation work has been exhibited at venues such as the Corcoran Gallery, the Denver Art Museum and the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg, Germany. Steers is a recipient of major grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital and the American Film Institute. She was the focus of a major retrospective at the 2015 Annecy International Festival of Animation in Annecy, France and received the Brakhage Vision Award at the 2012 Denver International Film Festival. Steers lives and works in Boulder, Colorado and has exhibited with Catharine Clark Gallery since 2013.
Stacey Steers | Edge of Alchemy
February 25 – April 15, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017: Opening reception 3 – 6pm ; Artist talk 3pm
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 – 6pm; Thursday 11 – 7pm