Wading in a puddle at Motel

Artists: Elizabeth Jaeger, Eric Veit, Erin Jane Nelson

Exhibition title: Wading in a puddle

Venue: Motel, New York, US

Date: February 17 – March 18, 2018

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Motel, New York

This show presents works that are imagistic, but never simply so. While the idea of an image is so often cast as a weightless apparition, whether “in the mind’s eye” or in that effusive digital archive of the cloud, these works ply images to objects, or treat objects as images, subjecting them to the heft and friction of physical experience. They bend, however softly, with the laws which govern the bodies that prop up “the eye.” They adopt and adapt materials from the home – textiles, chiefly, rendered as blankets, stretched canvases, and something like a tablecloth, but also the bits of miscellany that give backdrop to daily minutiae, such as an old hat, a found feather that stuck around, a dingy but sturdy bucket. These things have an appearance, but they also accrue touch, over time, in the lilting tides of domestic space. In turn, their tactility insists to us that the eye is no island. You look with your body, too.

In her quilts, Erin Jane Nelson stitches together shreds of photography, fabrics, and other odds and ends from her life as she lives it. They tumble across her surfaces, tracing associations, intuitions, and perceptions, scrambled together with a frenetic, secret logic. In one quilt on view, the composition juts out from its surface with the addition of objects – the hat, a braid, a tag. In another, the quilt dwells on its depths, which are visibly stuffed with drooping heaps of a pungent spice blend. Potpourri, like a memory, lingers and drifts. The more you pay attention, the more its notes seem to shift and unfurl.

In his assemblages, Eric Veit makes an image of objects, staging them for taciturn games of balance. A cork squeezes into its wooden cranny, kept in place only by its own tension. Its side bears a print depicting two swans, necks interlocked – a curious place for ornament, when you consider that a cork spends most of its time inside a bottle or in the trash. Some find different uses. Other inversions in the present work: a basket woven from dental floss, a paper collage emulating the warp and weft of a textile; a bag of chips reversed to resemble grubby silver leaf. And then they’re assembled: inset, offset, counterposed, harmonized in the bounds set by a rectangular edge.

In her present sculpture, Elizabeth Jaeger drapes a dyed-cloth portrait over a 5-gallon bucket. Its subject, idealized but startled, stares straight ahead – which is to say straight at the ceiling – gaping out from some ghostly realm of horizontal being. The face dips with gravity, just slightly, into the void of its container, pulling away from its own piercing gaze. To catch its eye, you have to peer in, crane your neck some. You don’t normally study a tablecloth so intently, but then again, you do spend a lot of time around them. A cloth is like a person: it wants to be seen, to be held, across time.

– Nick Irvin

Elizabeth Jaeger’s (b. 1988 lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) recent solo and two person exhibitions include Pommel and Six-Thirty at Jack Hanley Gallery, 8:30 at And Now in Dallas, and Music Stand at Eli Ping, New York. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Mirror Cells at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Moma PS1’s Greater New York, and Sculpture Center’s In Practice: Fantasy Can Invent Nothing New . Most recently, the artist exhibited in Dreamers Awake at White Cube, London; 99 Cents or Less at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Sticky Fingers at Arsenal Contemporary; and The Sun and the Rainfall II at Galleria Zero, Milan. Jaeger co-founded and operates Peradam with Sam Cate-Gumpert, a publishing house specializing in artists’ books.

Eric Veit is based in New York. Recent exhibitions include Rear Window, New York; Exo Exo, Paris; Jack Hanley, New York; Tomorrow, New York; Plaza Mercado, Santa Fe; Signal, New York; Parisian Laundry, Montreal; SpazioA, Pistoia; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. He is the founder and director of Bodega, a gallery in New York.

Erin Jane Nelson is an artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. She studied at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York and The Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. Recently, her work has been shown at Hester (NYC), Ellis King (Dublin), Favorite Goods (Los Angeles), Interstate Gallery (Brooklyn), Peregrine Program (Chicago), and Important Projects (Oakland). Her published projects include Lollie, Penny, Poems (Publication Studio Oakland, 2014), and Broon (Gottlund Verlag, 2012).

Wading in a puddle, 2018, exhibition view, Motel, New York

Wading in a puddle, 2018, exhibition view, Motel, New York

Wading in a puddle, 2018, exhibition view, Motel, New York

Wading in a puddle, 2018, exhibition view, Motel, New York

Wading in a puddle, 2018, exhibition view, Motel, New York

Wading in a puddle, 2018, exhibition view, Motel, New York

Erin Jane Nelson, BBr [Bucolic Buttered rice], 2015, Pigment on cotton, various fabrics, ink, felted wool, handling label, miniature straw hat, silk ribbon, 37.5 x 22 in

Elizabeth Jaeger, Flower, 2017, Cermaic, Brass, 13 x 2 x 2 inches

Eric Veit, Feather and Basket, 2018, Wood, shellac, nylon, crow, 7.75 x 36 in

Eric Veit, Plain Words, 2018, Wood, silk, enamel, plastic, paper, silver, 24 x 20 in

Erin Jane Nelson, Germination Unit, 2015, Inkjet on cotton, gray garden liner, nylon ribbon, toner print on paper, bay leaves, teas, and whole spices

Eric Veit, Mis en Bois, 2018, Wood, silk, cork, 18 x 18 in

Elizabeth Jaeger, Herald and his bucket, 2018, Dyed silk, found bucket, 24 x 24 x 12 in

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