Amy Adler “Player’s History”

Dates: Apr 13 – May 12, 2007

“Adler is literally pushing against her materials, asking canvas and pastel to function in a way contrary to their design. But, this is exactly her intention – a subversion of the essential nature of her media.” – (Rachel Teagle, curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 2007 )

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce Player’s History, Los Angeles based artist Amy Adler’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. Adler’s work has most recently been featured in solo museum exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2006-7). Past exhibitions include the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2002), The Photographers Gallery, London (2001), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998).

Player’s History is comprised of eight framed pastel drawings on canvas. The present exhibition marks the second occasion at the gallery on which Adler will exhibit work on canvas – this following two prior exhibitions featuring work in the artist’s then signature media of unique color photographic print. As in earlier works, Adler’s source material is photographic – in this case, found photographs of young, famous international and unknown amateur chess players subsequently rendered, sans opponent, in light tones of gray pastel on canvas. Depicted characters serve as double-stand-ins; at once representations of the tenuous yet persisting and, for Adler, foundational concepts of “photograph” and “drawing” and at the same serving as self portraits, depictions of the artist and her negotiation with and through the mediated image.

Where Adler’s past photographic works had an air of permanence – drawing distanced, encased within the cibachrome panel, the present works benefit from a tension inherent in the fragile; pastel dust on canvas, the drawings function, in part, as a trace of the more ephemeral aspects of photographic production.