The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz presents Sara Greenberger Rafferty: Gloves Off, an exhibition of recent work by the Brooklyn-based artist, who is known for unsettling works that contend with topics such as domesticity, the body, consumer culture, fashion and violence.
Organized by independent curator and scholar Andrew Ingall, Sara Greenberger Rafferty will be on display at The Dorsky Museum from Feb. 4 through May 21, 2017 in the Museum’s Sara Bedrick Gallery.
A public opening reception will be held Saturday, Feb. 4, from 5-7 p.m. On Saturday, April 1 at 2 p.m., Sara Greenberger Rafferty and curator Andrew Ingall will lead a gallery talk at the Dorsky.
The boxing term “gloves off”—frequently used as a metaphor to characterize brutal political campaigns and post-9/11 military interrogation—aptly describes the subtle aggressions in American popular culture Rafferty lays bare.
The exhibition features installations on walls and floors, a new video and multiple works, including one measuring 20 feet long, consisting of prints on acetate, painted and mounted on hand-cut Plexiglas. Rafferty presents these Plexiglas pieces as a “rogue’s gallery” of high-fashion figures. Like a row of mug shots in a police station, Rafferty mediates and exhibits figures in designer clothing sourced from retail websites.
Blurring the lines between two and three dimensions, Rafferty attaches her wall-mounted works using custom-painted screws that break up the images. She also deploys cracked paint resembling viscous bodily fluids, furthering “wounding” the objects.
After its presentation at The Dorsky, the exhibition travels to the University Art Museum (UAM) at SUNY Albany, in an expanded version coordinated by UAM Curator Corinna Ripps Schaming. It opens in Albany on June 30, 2017.
Sara Greenberger Rafferty: Gloves Off is accompanied by a fully illustrated, 84-page catalogue co-published by The Dorsky and UAM. It includes a new essay by exhibition curator Andrew Ingall and an artist interview by Jonathan Thomas, editor of The Third Rail. Designed by Zheng Hu, the catalogue will be available in March 2017 at The Dorsky, at UAM and online at SUNY Press.
Funding for this exhibition has been provided by the Dorsky Museum Contemporary Art Program Fund. Funding for The Dorsky’s exhibitions and programs is provided by the Friends of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and SUNY New Paltz. Special thanks to the Rachel Uffner Gallery.
Over the past decade, Sara Greenberger Rafferty has referenced the language, gestures and props associated with stand-up comedy. This exhibition includes a new large-scale work entitled Jokes on You, featuring images of ephemera from the collections of the National Museum of American History, which was part of Rafferty’s study during her Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Index cards from the Phyllis Diller “Gag File,” scanned and re-contextualized by Rafferty, underscore the trauma associated with cultural mores that assert control over women’s bodies, such as marriage and consumerism.
The Gloves Off exhibition also includes photographs and prints that evoke the theme of damage. To create one set of black and white images, Rafferty paints on paper, punctures the finished work, and photographs the result. In a series of Phyllis Diller portraits, Rafferty scans found images, transfers them to paper, and distorts them using a “waterlogging” technique. In another grouping printed directly on Plexiglas, biomorphic forms—including weapons, comedy props and other objects associated with both tragedy and humor—accumulate and spread like cells across the wall’s surface.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sara Greenberger Rafferty (b. 1978) has exhibited widely since 2001, including solo exhibitions at The Kitchen, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; Eli Marsh Gallery at Amherst College, Massachusetts; The Suburban, Illinois; and a commissioned sculpture for the Public Art Fund. In 2014, she participated in the Whitney Biennial and the Hammer Biennial, and had solo exhibitions in Portland, Ore., Riga, Latvia, and New York. In 2015, her work was included in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in Georgia, and Galerie Andreas Huber in Vienna. In 2016, she mounted her fourth solo exhibition at Rachel Uffner Gallery and presented a solo project at Document in Chicago.
Rafferty has participated in group shows at venues such as the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, N.Y.; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and The Jewish Museum, New York, among many others. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Andrew Ingall is an independent curator, scholar and producer. In 2015 he organized the exhibition Videofreex: The Art of Guerilla Television at The Dorsky and conceived a series of related public programs at the Brooklyn Museum, Electronic Arts Intermix, the Sanctuary for Independent Media and other venues in New York State. While serving previously as Assistant Curator at the Jewish Museum, he organized exhibitions of video and digital art and directed Off the Wall: Artists at Work, a residency and open studio project. He has worked recently with Wave Hill on film programming, and previously on selection committees for the Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight and the New York Jewish Film Festival, a collaboration between the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Jewish Museum. He lives in New York City.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
Through its collections, exhibitions and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz supports and enriches the academic programs at the College, presents a broad range of world art for study and enjoyment and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. The museum is widely recognized as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums in the SUNY system. Since its official dedication on Oct. 20, 2001, The Dorsky has presented more than 100 exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects and in-depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann and Ushio Shinohara.
Museum Hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays and Intersessions.
For more information about The Dorsky Museum and its programs, visit http://www.newpaltz.edu/museum or call (845) 257-3844.