ICA Philadelphia

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania | 118 South 36th Street
PA-19104 Philadelphia

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press release

The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania presents the first major survey of Jennifer Bolande's art, spanning three decades of her work in a wide array of media. Jennifer Bolande Landmarks opens on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 with a reception from 6-8pm, and will remain on view in ICA's second floor gallery through March 11, 2012.

Jennifer Bolande emerged as an artist in the late seventies working first in dance, choreography and drawing. Then, in the early eighties, advancing the ideas and strategies of the Pictures Generation, she began working with found images, rephotography, appropriation, film and installation, taking her place among those artists who have helped to redefine photography. She has taken an intuitive approach to creating conceptual works of art in the construction of a coherent visual language.

One of the first artists to consistently explore the materiality of the photograph, Bolande employs photographs as objects and subtly re-materializes photographic concepts through her work. Milk Crown (1987), for example, makes solid Harold Edgerton's well-known image of a milk droplet frozen in photographic time by recreating it as a three-dimensional ceramic sculpture.

This exhibition takes as its point of departure Cast of Characters, a 1999 photographic collage that collects the central players of Bolande's image-making as though they were cast members on stage for a curtain call. Central subjects like movies, mountains, speakers, trucks, appliances, and globes, seemingly divergent at first glance, coalesce into elements, themes and narratives, which recur, build and dovetail throughout her work.

Jennifer Bolande Landmarks is as much a site-specific installation as it is a survey. The careful selection of forty works teases out the inter-referencing the artist has practiced throughout her career and lends insight into her various strategies. It considers the simultaneity of past and present, obsolescence and newness, recollection and re-presentation. Presenting this exhibition in Philadelphia makes a special connection: in 1988 the first survey exhibition of Bolande's work, organized by Paula Marincola, was presented at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in nearby Glenside.

Jennifer Bolande (b. 1957 Cleveland; lives Joshua Tree and Los Angeles) earned her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. With solo exhibitions at Kunstraum in Munich, Kunsthalle Palazzo in Basel, Fotohof Gallery in Salzberg, P.S.1, Metro Pictures, Nature Morte Gallery and the Kitchen, NYC, her work was recently included in Mixed Use Manhattan, Photography and Related Practices, 1970s to the Present, at the Rein Sofia, in Madrid. Her public art project with West of Rome, Plywood Curtains, was a site-specific installation that activated empty storefronts in Los Angeles, and was on view in 2010-11. Her work is in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She is currently professor of New Genres at UCLA.

Jennifer Bolande Landmarks is organized by curator Nicholas Frank and INOVA, the Institute of Visual Arts in the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The exhibition is coordinated at ICA by Senior Curator Ingrid Schaffner and is accompanied by a book, "Landmarks," the first monograph dedicated to Bolande's art, published by J.R.P. Ringier.

ICA acknowledges Toby Devan Lewis--The Toby Fund for generous support of this exhibition. We are grateful to the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation for funding public educational programs in conjunction with this exhibition, and to the Pamela Spiegel Sanders C'78 Exhibition Endowment Fund established by the Emily & Jerry Spiegel Family Foundation, Inc. Additional funding has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; The Dietrich Foundation, Inc.; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art; friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania. General operating support provided, in part, by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. ICA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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Jennifer Bolande
curator: Ingrid Schaffner