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Issue No. 16 - Chaos

Sharon Core at Yancey Richardson Gallery

Sharon Core at Yancey Richardson Gallery

Image above: ©Sharon Core, Untitled 6, 2015 Archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches Edition of 7Courtesy of the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.
sharon core
sharon core
Image above: ©Elizabeth Mealey, Opening Night, Bottom Right: Artist speaking with Yancey Richardson, Bottom Left: Artist

The Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present Understory, an exhibition of new photographs by Sharon Core exploring the theater of growth, decay and predation in a cultivated closed landscape environment created by the artist. The stage for these works is a large geodesic dome constructed by Core on her property in the Hudson Valley. The environment serves not only as a vivarium for plant, reptile, amphibian and insect life, but also as a living studio – one containing an elaborate staging of the conceit of art as the mirror of nature.

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Image above: ©Sharon Core, Untitled 1, 2015 Archival pigment print, 34 x 30 inches Edition of 7 / Courtesy of the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

In her earlier series of still lifes Early American and 1606 – 1907, Core examined the play between photographic truth and painted illusion. In Understory she looks beyond the frame, outward and downward into the environment itself. Teeming with shrubs, vines, weeds, exotic and native cultivars along with decomposing wood, mosses, insects, snails and creatures collected from Coreʼs adjoining forest, the dome provides a platform on which Core acts as curator, constructing a landscape simultaneously natural and artificial. The botanical elements such as the fig tree, datura, passiflora and opium poppy, go beyond the decorative, selected instead for their biblical references and psychotropic properties that allude to their inherent power to expand consciousness.

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Image above: ©Sharon Core, Untitled 4, 2015 Archival pigment print, 30 x 20 inches Edition of 7Courtesy of the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

Referencing the Sottobosco work of 17th century Dutch painter Otto Marseus van Schriek, in which the complications and significances of the natural world “under the woods” evolved into its own intricate genre, Coreʼs new photographs investigate the micro specifications of this partially engineered world not necessarily seen at first glance. Rejecting the use of faux vegetation, taxidermy and cinematic devices to create the fictional narratives often seen in recent 20th and 21st century photography, Coreʼs process of picture-making maintains a deep interaction with the materials and subjects she photographs and an insistence of authenticity. Her work is not a fiction, but an extension of what could be viewed beyond the actual frame, allowing the viewer to be immersed in its “understory”.

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Image above: ©Sharon Core, Untitled 7, 2015 Archival pigment print, Image: 18 x 14 inches Edition of 7Courtesy of the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

The photographs of Understory were made in the first year of cultivation of the dome environment, the construction of which was was supported by a grant from The Shifting Foundation.

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Image above: ©Sharon Core, Untitled 10, 2015 Archival pigment print, 38 x 26 inches Edition of 7Courtesy of the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery.

Sharon Core was born in New Orleans in 1965. She holds a BFA in painting from the University of Georgia and an MFA in Photography from Yale University. Her work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Guggenheim Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, Princeton Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, among others. In 2012 Radius Books published Early American, Coreʼs first monograph.

Sharon Core: Understory is on view at Yancey Richardson Gallery until May 7, 2016 at 525 West 22nd Street, New York, NY
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