Bruce Conner “Falling Leaves: An Anonymous Memorial”

Paula Cooper Gallery "521 W 21 St."

poster for Bruce Conner “Falling Leaves: An Anonymous Memorial”

This event has ended.

The Paula Cooper Gallery presents an exhibition of drawings and a film by the late artist Bruce Conner. “Falling Leaves: An Anonymous Memorial” comprises a series of drawings, all dating from 2001, that the artist created in response to 9/11. The drawings are credited to “Anonymous,” one of several alter-egos who worked with Bruce Conner over the years.

Asked about this series of works in 2005, the artist responded:

Anonymous was listening to the radio on 9/11 when two airplanes collided with the World Trade Center. Anonymous created a scroll inkblot drawing with two leaves falling. There was another work later that day with three leaves. Then four leaves. More scrolls with more leaves were created in the weeks of crisis that followed. Falling leaves and leaving.

The exhibition will also include HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW, a 2006 collage film composed in part of Depression-era footage that Conner originally intended for a documentary about the influential gospel group The Soul Stirrers.

Bruce Conner (1934-2008) is internationally recognized for his Surrealistic sculptures, groundbreaking short films and elaborate, richly detailed paintings and drawings. A central figure of the San Francisco Beat scene and of the wider counter-cultural movement, he maintained a lifelong oppositional bent and remained wary of fame and commercial success. Conner first gained critical acclaim in the late 1950s with his assemblage art, producing eclectic constructions of nylon stockings, furniture elements and other found objects.

In parallel, Conner also began an influential career as an experimental filmmaker that can be considered an extension of his assemblage practice. These masterfully edited collages of found and new footage, employing disorienting formal strategies such as non-linear narrative and optical overload that seem to point towards ecstatic, metaphysical truths, are avant-garde classics. Conner’s lyrical idiom is also evident in his drawings and paintings, whose enigmatic and personal symbolism explores notions of transience and immateriality, and of a reality beyond the visible.

Concurrently with this exhibition, the American University Museum in Washington, D.C. will present “Bruce Conner: An Anonymous Memorial,” from September 3 through October 23, 2011.

[Image: Anonymous, "LEAVE TAKING LEAF SCROLLS" (2001) Ink and paper on cloth and paper scroll, 35 1/2 x 17 1/2 in.]



from August 30, 2011 to September 24, 2011


Bruce Conner

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