Rachel Uffner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Sara Greenberger Rafferty. For the artist’s third solo show with the gallery, and her first at the new Suffolk Street location, Rafferty will exhibit a series of hanging plastic wall objects as well as a number of larger-scale curtain pieces. In the three years since her last solo exhibition at the gallery, Rafferty has been pushing forward her dialogue with materials and strategies of making while continuing to engage themes that have been preoccupying her in her work to date: mid- to late-20th-century media culture and the proliferation and subsequent impoverishment of imagery that has arrived in its wake; tropes of performance and comedy; and the theatricalized, often female, body, with its simultaneous centrality and abjection.
In her wall works, many of which play, sleight-of-hand-style, with the shifts between two- to three-dimensionality—inviting the viewer to enter their world while at the same time sealing themselves off from engagement—Rafferty prints photographic imagery on thin, clear film, often mixed with paint and solvents, and attaches these to irregularly rectangular clear acrylic sheets. The images on these clear pieces of plastic position themselves in a hazy, deteriorated netherworld between realism and abstraction. Though they depict perfectly quotidian things—a bathroom door, a woman’s suited-up silhouette, a group of flies—the works’ faded, bruised quality and their severely cropped and ever-shifting layers call their coherence and authority into question, positioning the images as an event though one no longer taking place.
These works’ insistent but wounded performativity—their calling of attention to their own reduced, diminutive state—is echoed in a series of poly-silk, leather, vinyl, and film curtains that define wall space while alluding to both institutional and theatrical drapery. Printed with images that sit atop them, like a scab or a blister, the curtains are, similarly to the plastic works, strange, unresolved portals—opening up a narrative that may ultimately be painful to explore. But the trauma, even though embodied, always takes place off-screen.
Sara Greenberger Rafferty has exhibited widely since 2001, including solo exhibitions at The Kitchen, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; Eli Marsh Gallery at Amherst College, Massachusetts; The Suburban, Illinois; and a commissioned sculpture for the Public Art Fund. In 2014, she participated in the Whitney Biennial; the Hammer Biennial; and had a solo exhibition at Fourteen30 Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon. In November, she will travel to Riga, Latvia with Art in General to mount a solo exhibition at kim? Contemporary Art Centre. In 2015, her work will be part of exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in Georgia. Rafferty has participated in group shows at venues such as the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and the Jewish Museum, New York, among many others. She is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Rafferty received her MFA from Columbia University in 2005 and lives and works in Brooklyn.