Sara VanDerBeek Western Costume, Aurora 2011 Digital C-print. 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm). Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.


September 10, 2011 to January 8, 2012 – The Hammer Museum

For the past several years, Sara VanDerBeek has explored the relationship between photographic imagery and sculptural forms. Working with a large archive of historical and personal images, she builds photographic assemblages in her studio and captures them in singular images. Recently, she has been shooting photos in American cities that carry particular personal, historical, or political meaning for her, including Detroit and Baltimore. Invited by the Hammer to participate in our Artist Residency Program, VanDerBeek spent several weeks in Los Angeles over the past year. The works included in her Hammer Project have grown out this residency and offer a particular view into our city. In the past, VanDerBeek’s sculptures have been built in order to be photographed, and for the first time, she will be presenting sculptures in the gallery alongside her photographs. Additionally, she has designed an installation within which the works will be presented—part stage-set, part studio, part imagined space. Resisting the iconic or spectacular, the works in the exhibition distill VanDerBeek’s experiences of Los Angeles and operate in the boundary between abstraction and representation. While touching upon various locations and attributes that define our city—from the diverse landscape to the region’s indigenous people, from Hollywood to community theater—the sculptures and photographs are primarily concerned with movement, materialty, and mark-making.

Sara VanDerBeek was born in Baltimore in 1976 and lives in New York City. She received her BFA from Cooper Union School of Art and Science in New York City in 1998. VanDerBeek has had one-person exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010); Altman Siegel, San Francisco (2010): The Approach, London (2008); and D’Amelio Terras, New York (2006). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including The Anxiety of Photography, Aspen Arts Museum, Aspen; Knight’s Move, SculptureCenter, Long Island City; Image Transfer, Pictures in a Remix Culture, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; New Photography 2009 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Amazement Park: Stan, Sara and Johannes VanDerBeek, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs; The Reach of Realism, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; and The Library of Babel / In and Out of Place, Zabludowicz Collection, London.

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