'If a tree...', 2022, Cut logs, mixed textiles, metal staples, hardware, nylon cord, miscellaneous lumber, dimensions variable
'The Angel of History', 2013, Miscellaneous lumber, steel cable, hardware, dimensions variable,
(detail) 'If a tree...', 2022, Cut logs, mixed textiles, metal staples, hardware, nylon cord, miscellaneous lumber, dimensions variable
'Sampling Today', 2020, Mixed textiles, thread 18 x 18 inches,
'Friday Sampler', 2020, Mixed textiles, thread, 16 x 16 inches
'Monday, June 22', 2020, Mixed textiles, thread, 16 x 16 inches
'One Hard Won', 2020, Mixed textiles, thread, 19.5 x 19 inches
'Untitled (Embedded Sampler)', 2020, Artist designed wallpaper, textile, metal staples in panel, 24 x 24 inches
first panorama photograph by Itty Neuhaus
installation photographs by Dario Lasagni
Elana Herzog is an artist who has defied easy categorization in her over thirty years of mature art making. Continuing her delphic approach, she is creating a new site-specific installation with Cathouse Proper in our exhibition space at 524 Projects. “Site specificity” arises here from Herzog’s spontaneous yet muscular address of the temporary elevated platform currently installed in the gallery. In typical fashion for the artist, the form of this exhibition has evolved out of ongoing conversations begun over the past year as she has absorbed our changing gallery environment. Recently at the MacDowell artists’ residency, Herzog has prepared elements for the installation that will be completed on site in the days prior to its opening on Saturday, May 7.
Vertically stacked logs, loosely resembling a tree, emerge through an opening in the raw plywood platform and are tethered to the ceiling. This tree-like form appears to provide a counterweight to another, more abstract assemblage suspended several feet away. Clues as to what the finished installation will look like are derived from the above pictured model that has been provided by the artist. Another reference is Herzog’s earliest public installation Place Setting (1991), pictured below, in which the table tops, sited outdoors and pierced by planted shrubs, are analogous to the platform in the gallery. Now working inside, and at a much larger scale, the gallery becomes both a container, support and element of the artwork; a vitrine for a diorama that the viewer can enter.
Despite this theatricality, Herzog’s activities are essentially materialist. Her work aspires to undermine vertical hierarchies of categorization and interpretation by making plain the mechanics of its production. Relevant, then, is the horizontal platform in the gallery that introduces an unusual separation into the distinctly vertical orientation of the room. The gallery is bifurcated into an above and below, conjuring iconic readings of division both literal and figurative, physical and psychic, conscious and unconscious, while creating a stratified landscape both natural and cultural.