ELSA RADY: Caryatids
GEORGE PLATT LYNES: Vintage Ballet Photographs
July 19 - August 23, 2008
Reception: July 19, 4-6pm
On July 19th, Craig Krull Gallery will open its second solo exhibition of the work of noted ceramicist, Elsa Rady. For years, Rady exhibited her paper-thin, elegantly austere porcelain vessels at Holly Solomon Gallery in New York, while LACMA, the Met and the V&A in London collected the work. Although recognized for her ceramics, Rady has always been interested in investigating different materials as evidenced in her silver works produced with the company, Swid Powell. The work in this exhibition again marks an introduction of new materials, but it also represents the first body of work in which her vessel forms are entirely non-functional. The recent work is made with a process called woodturning, using a spindle turning lathe and poplar wood. The forms have plexiglass bases, as well as thin plexi discs on top which serve to extend the lip of the form 16”in diameter, far beyond the width of the body. Rady suggests that the resulting shapes are female, with their thin waists and rounded hips. The series is entitled “Caryatid” after the sculpted female figures of Greek art which carry capitals on their heads and serve as architectural support in the place of columns.
Installed in the same space with the Rady sculptures are vintage photographs of the ballet by George Platt Lynes (1907-1955). In 1935, the photographer was asked to document the dancers of Lincoln Kirstein’s and George Balanchine’s newly founded American Ballet, a forerunner of the New York City Ballet. His photographic collaboration with this company and other dancers continued for the next 15 years. The works in this exhibition include images of dancers such as Margot Fonteyn and Tanaquil Le Clercq.
Concurrently, the gallery will also present an exhibition of photographs by English photographer, Jennifer Gough-Cooper. Trained in fine arts and photography, Gough-Cooper became involved in the planning and organizing of exhibitions and worked on projects such as Documenta 5 and the Marcel Duchamp Retrospective in 1977, the inaugural show at the Pompidou. It was a chance visit to the Musee Rodin in Paris in 1996 that inspired a series of photographs interpreting the sculptor’s work in situ at the extraordinary Hotel Biron which houses the museum’s collection. As the artists states, “the sculpture inhabits an architectural grandeur where casements overlooking the park of the Rodin Museum are opened early every morning. Air and light stream in. No need for artificial backcloth or additional lights…” The sculpture is pictured through heavy glass vitrines, reflected in hazy antique mirrors, and often colored with direct sunlight and the shadows of leaves and windowpanes. Thames and Hudson published a book of these photographs, entitled Apropos Rodin, in 2006 in conjunction with an exhibition at the Musee Rodin. This is the first exhibition of the photographs in the U.S.