Amy Adler “Virgin Sacrifice”

Dates: Mar 26 – Apr 24, 2004

” …And I directed myself to perform for the camera, so I suppose, for now, that makes me the actor-writer-director.”
Amy Adler (from A Thousand Words, ARTFORUM, April, 1990)

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce Virgin Sacrifice, Los Angeles based artist Amy Adler’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Adler’s work has been featured in solo museum exhibitions including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2002), The Photographers Gallery, London (2001), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998).

Virgin Sacrifice is comprised of six paintings on canvas. This marks a recent development in Amy Adler’s work. Her past exhibited work consisted of unique photographic prints. The unique photographs are the result of an involved process which begins with the artist’s selection of source material. A “found” photo of the artist, a celebrity, an anonymous figure or group or, more recently, a staged photo, is then re-produced by the artist in the medium of pastel and finally photographed. The resultant photo serves as both finished work and document of a performance; existing somewhere between filmed and photographic narrative.

Adler has begun to more directly engage the moving image implicit in her photography. She is currently working on a series of short animated films and for this exhibition Virgin Sacrifice she has made a series of acrylic paintings on canvas. Virgin Sacrifice may be seen as, ” [painted] film stills from an animated film”. Based upon a series of night photographs taken in the 1980’s by Adler and a female friend, the new paintings depict fragments of a larger narrative. The darkness of night – of the painting’s surface – both reveal and conceals, serving as a, ” stage on which figures interact and are also unable to escape.” Frozen in the glossy surface of Adler’s paintings, the figures exist as characters in a psychological drama. Part fiction, part diary, Virgin Sacrifice carries out a continuing dialogue between the artist, her personal history, her audience and chosen medium.