Polish Artist Anna Ostoya Exhibits 28 Works Made in February at Bortolami Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- Bortolami Gallery presents the first New York solo exhibition of works by the Polish artist Anna Ostoya. The show features a series of new collages on canvas entitled Exposures that were all made during February 2011. For this series, Ostoya staged a durational performance. Each day, she began a new work with the aim of finishing 28 canvases-as many as there are days in February-by the time of the opening on March 1st.
Conceived in response to the Bortolami Gallery’s invitation, Exposures depends on pre-determined limits. They were realized not only through the temporal restrictions of her daily regimen, but also through the physical restrictions of the 20 x 24-inch canvases on which she worked. Other materials included newspaper and internet images, papier-mâché, gold leaf, and acrylic paint. Moving between her kitchen and studio, Ostoya made papier-mâché from unused papers creating compositions that operated somewhere between meticulous planning and improvisation. The scheduled time-too little for either lengthy reflection or extensive revision-became a test of her artistic efficiency and an experiment in creative manufacture. Performing like an udarnik (a super productive worker in Communist states), she attempted, in paradoxical fashion, to recapture enthusiasm and genuine spontaneity through disciplinary constraint. Exploring the tension between representation and abstraction, each canvas is marked by the day’s events and shaped by Ostoya’s creative responses. Through the combination of cheap paper and gold foil, she opened the work to questions about economic and ethical values, and through her accelerated timetable, she aligned her practice with industrial modes of cultural production.
Ostoya’s multi-media practice includes collage, painting, sculpture, and sound. Conceptually grounded, her work cuts through different art historical traditions and styles in order to elide prevailing fashion that endangers the critical and reflective potential of art. Rejecting the commonplace opposition of aestheticism and anti-art, Ostoya offers aesthetic objects that repeatedly direct the viewer towards the historical and institutional contexts of the work. Previous projects by the artist dealt with the subjects of violence and war, avant-garde histories, and the contemporary information glut.
Anna Ostoya was born in Krakow in 1978. In 2009, she graduated from the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Ostoya’s work has been exhibited at Tegenboschvanvreden in Amsterdam (2011); Galeria Foksal in Warsaw (2010); Center for Contemporary Art Kronika in Bytom (2010); the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (2010); Lisson Gallery, London (2009); and Car Projects in Bologna (2009). She participated in Manifesta 7, Rovereto and the 2nd Athens Biennial. Upcoming exhibitions include a solo show at Silberkuppe in Berlin and a group show, Rearview Mirror, at The Power Plant in Toronto. She lives and works in New York.