Anat Ebgi is pleased to present new works by Amie Dicke and Janet Werner. Each of these artists practices use photography as a means to investigate gesture and abstraction as well as feminine portrayals and expectations. The works for The Armory Show 2020 direct focus to topics such as spectatorship, female power, hidden suffering, glamour, and sensuality.
Amie Dicke rose to prominence in the early 2000s after a period of living and working in New York City that saw her literally de-facing the advertising imagery of Madison Avenue, obscuring the features of famous models and driving nails through glossy publications – some of which subsequently commissioned Dicke to contribute to their pages. For The Armory Show she presents her newest series of ‘ONE-LINERS,’ the name of which refers to a striking new technique whereby she uses a continuous, meandering incision to slice into aluminum plates bearing composed fashion portraiture. As she follows her line around the immaculate bodies, the artist maps the touch of her hand and eye around the image, then bends new shapes into the metal. “Nothing is really removed, nothing is lost, just opened,” she notes. By adding space where there was none, and creating work that elides the conventions of two- and three-dimensional forms, Dicke continuously distorts and realigns the possibilities of our visual experience. The artist also completed new sandpaper abrasion works, where prints of images from various sources—from fashion magazines to Bauhaus catalogues—are charged with a sense of physicality, revealing alternate and undetected associations through judicious removal.
Janet Werner’s distinct brand of fictional portraits has been developed over a practice spanning thirty years. The works trade in multiple, fragile personalities culled from both fashion magazines and art historical sources. Werner’s raw material is cut up, recombined and transformed via a gamut of operations into something resembling a painterly exquisite corpse. The resulting, composite characters are abstracted from multiple references and devoid of one, singular identity. Despite their representational qualities, each subject remains ambiguous and fluid. The works, through gestural tension and the deceit of traditional beauty, address issues of gender and representation, ideological conditioning and psychological vulnerability, while simultaneously appealing to humor, fantasy and seduction. Werner’s characters, flattened against tenebrous, watery voids or indeterminate architecture, stare openly into space. They may appear abstract at close glance and are, at times aggressively rendered suggesting crisis or emotional slippage. The works invite the viewer to look beyond the predicament of the frame, mirroring the onlooker’s gaze, and bending the reading back to the viewer herself.
Amie Dicke’s (b. 1978, Rotterdam) work has been exhibited internationally in venues such as Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany; Tate Modern and Project Space 176 in London; FLAG Art Foundation, New York; and Art Centre Silkeborg Bad in Denmark. Her work is included in several major collections including Gemeentemuseum The Hague, Collection Rob Defares, Direct Art Collection, the Zabludowicz Collection, Collection Rik Reinking, Takashi Murakami and the City Collection of Rotterdam through the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Recent solo exhibition history includes: EENWERK, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Granpalazzo (with Anat Ebgi), Rome, Italy; GEM Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hague, Netherlands; and Hiromi Yoshii Gallery, Toyko, Japan. Recent group exhibitions include: Anat Ebgi at Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco; Centquarte, Paris; Marres (House for Contemporary Culture), Maastricht; Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam; Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen; Grimmuseum, Berlin; Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart Tasmania; and Murakami Takashi Kaikai Kiki Collection,Taipei. Dicke lives and works in Amsterdam.
Janet Werner (b. 1959, Winnipeg, Manitoba) received her MFA from Yale University in 1987, after which she returned to Canada, where she taught at the University of Saskatchewan from 1987 to 1999 and Concordia University, Montréal, from 1999 to 2019. Her work was included in Painting Project at Galerie de l’UQAM (2013); Oh, Canada, at Mass MoCa (2012); and in the Prague Biennale (2003). Recent monographic exhibitions include Janet Werner, (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, QC, 2019); What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf? (Art Gallery of Guelph 2019); Another Perfect Day, (touring exhibition to: Kenderdine Gallery, Saskatoon; Esker Foundation, Calgary; Galerie de l’UQAM, Montréal; MacIntosh Gallery, London, 2013); and Is Anything Alright? (Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, 2009). Her work is in the collections of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec; Musée d’art contemporain, Montréal; The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto; Owens Art Gallery, Sackville; Canadian Embassy, Berlin; University of Lethbridge, Alberta; Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Mendel Art Gallery; McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco, and numerous private and corporate collections. Werner’s work is currently on view in the group show The Sacred Vessel, Arsenal Contemporary, New York. Werner lives and works in Montréal, Québec.