Cristin Tierney Gallery is pleased to present Leaving Earth, an exhibition of new video work by Mary Lucier. The exhibition opens Friday, January 19th with a reception from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and continues through March 2nd. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and she will be present at the reception.
Leaving Earth is a multi-channel video and sound installation inspired by excerpts from the final journal of Lucier’s late husband, the painter Robert Berlind. In this journal, Berlind fearlessly documented his thoughts on his impending death from a terminal illness. His writings reflect his appreciation of life with a remarkable lack of anxiety about the inevitable end—more curiosity than dread.
The imagery in Lucier’s work consists of sequences of protean video and still images filmed in both her domestic and working environments. Most were shot after Berlind’s passing, reflecting the world as she experienced it during his final days and after. Berlind’s terse epigraphs appear throughout as white text on a black background, serving as evocative companions to the flow of images in Leaving Earth.
pictures already formed
more remembrance than presence
Lucier describes this nine-channel installation as one where “words, pictures, and sound become interchangeable, not serving as descriptions but as a rumination on reality and a form of coping.” Unlike much of Lucier’s earlier work, it does not follow a synchronous and sequential internal structure, instead allowing for random juxtapositions, repetitive thoughts, and the possibility of chaos to occur, reflecting the potential disarray in the dying man’s mind. The pictorial narrative in Leaving Earth is underscored by Berlind’s description of his mental state:
a succession of discontinuous moments occur
without the elemental structure of sequence
And yet . . . I forget to fear death
About the artist ~ Mary Lucier (b. 1944, Bucyrus, OH) has been noted for her contributions to the form of multi-monitor, multi-channel video installation since the early 1970s. Her work prior to her introduction to video was largely concerned with manipulation of the black and white image through a graphic performative process. She also produced several live performances with the feminist video collective Red White Yellow and Black (along with Shigeko Kubota, Cecilia Sandoval and Charlotte Warren) at the original Kitchen in 1972 and ’73. Archival materials from this collective were also exhibited in 2023. Her latest multi-channel video installation Leaving Earth will be exhibited at the Catskill Art Space in the summer of 2024.
Lucier’s video installations have been shown in major museums and galleries around the world. Many now reside in important collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Columbus Museum of Art, OH; and the National Academy of Design, NY, among others. She has also produced a significant body of single-channel works which have been screened in museums and festivals world-wide. From the austere black and white experiments of the 1970’s to recent studies of Japanese Buddhist ceremonies and Dakota Sioux dances, these works acknowledge the influence of both Avant Garde and documentary practices in American art and cinema.
Lucier has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Capital, Anonymous Was a Woman, the Nancy Graves Foundation, USA Artists, the American Film Institute, the Jerome Foundation, the New York State council on the Arts, and the Japan-US Friendship Commission. Her teaching appointments have included the Distinguished Visiting Professor in Art and Art History at UC Davis; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; adjunct professor in the department of VES at Harvard University; and Visiting Professor in Video Art at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, among others. She lives and works in New York City and Cochecton, NY, where she has established a studio and archive for video art.
Founded in 2010, Cristin Tierney Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located on The Bowery with a deep commitment to the presentation, development, and support of a roster of both established and emerging artists. Its program emphasizes artists engaged with critical theory and art history, with an emphasis on conceptual, video, and performance art. Education and audience engagement is central to our mission. Cristin Tierney Gallery is a member of the ADAA (Art Dealers Association of America).
Mary Lucier: Leaving Earth will be on view from January 19 to March 2, 2024 at Cristin Tierney, 219 Bowery, Floor 2, NYC.