For her residency at the Elaine de Kooning House in East Hampton running now through August, Josephine Meckseper is expanding on her large scale assemblage, spray-paint and short film works that she started during the lock-down months of 2020.
“Earlier in the pandemic, I resorted to recycling various objects and film props strewn in the studio and spray painted their ghostly silhouettes on drop cloth and denim fabric and recorded the process on film, ”Meckseper explained. “Later, during the heavy winter storms, I collected fallen down tree branches and traced their contours with paint. This process somewhat reminds me of the ending in Michel Houellebecq’s book ‘Map and Territory’ in which the main character surrenders to his misanthropic tendencies and barricades himself in the French country side to produce ‘meditations on the end of Industrial Age’ — depicting a civilization falling apart and triumphantly overgrown by vegetation.”
Josephine Meckseper, born in Lilienthal, Germany, lives and works in New York. She received her MFA at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles in 1992. Her large-scale installations, vitrines and films create a window into the collective unconscious of our time. Her recent narrative film “Pellea[s],” 2018 includes footage of the historical event of the 45th Presidential Inauguration and concurrent protests filmed by the artist. Meckseper’s first public project in New York, Manhattan Oil Project, commissioned by Art Production Fund was installed adjacent to Times Square in 2012.
Her works have been exhibited in numerous international solo museum shows worldwide, including her most recent survey exhibition at the Frac des Pays de la Loire (2019); and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany (2014); the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, (2013); Kunsthalle Münster, Germany (2009); Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2009); and Museum of Modern Art, (with Mikhael Subotzky) New York (2008). Her work was included in numerous biennales, such as the Taipei Biennial 2014, Taiwan, (2014); Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates, (2011); Whitney Biennale 2010, New York, (2010); the 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville, Spain, (2006); and the Whitney Biennial 2006, New York. Her works are in the permanent collections of many major institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum, New York and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Since 2011, the Elaine de Kooning House has hosted events, exhibitions, and informal artist residencies. The house on Alewive Brook Road was purchased by Elaine de Kooning in 1975 when she reconciled with her husband, artist Willem de Kooning. She added the studio three years later and created her last important bodies of work — the Cave Walls and Cave Paintings (1985-88). She also painted the portrait of the Brazilian soccer player Pele, Motown mogul Berry Gordy and many others at this time. After her death, the sculptor John Chamberlain owned the property, followed by the painter Richmond Burton. For more information, visit elainedekooninghouse.org.