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Amy Sillman

After Metamorphoses

On View:
Saturday, June 10, 2023 — Sunday, September 10, 2023


Drawing occupies a central role in Amy Sillman’s multimedia practice. This animated video, developed during the artist’s residency at the American Academy in Rome, layers drawings produced on paper and on iPads. The forms, rendered with an economy of line, morph and change quickly throughout the animation. These playful, transformative drawings derive from the artist’s interest in Metamorphoses (8 CE) by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BCE – 17 CE).

Ovid’s epic narrative, comprised of fifteen books of poetry, emphasizes constant destabilization as it tells an expansive history, beginning with the creation of the world. Themes include love, jealousy, fantasy, corruption, and brutality. To respond to such a historic and sweeping text, Sillman focused on the moments of shape shifting that occur in Ovid’s work. Just as Ovid describes one being morphing into another, the iconography in the video reinforces constant change—a leitmotif present in Ovid’s opus as well as a pervasive reality of contemporary life.

Born in Detroit in 1955, Amy Sillman earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York (1979) and her MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (1995). She has received numerous awards and grants, including the American Academy in Rome Residency, Rome (2014). Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at institutions including at the Arts Club of Chicago; Camden Art Centre, London; the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Drawing Center, New York; Portikus, Frankfurt; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. Sillman’s first museum survey, Amy Sillman: one lump or two, premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, in 2013 and traveled to the Aspen Museum of Art and the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College. Her book, Amy Sillman: Faux Pas, was published by After 8 Books in 2020. Sillman has been on faculty at Bard College in their MFA program and at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt. She lives and works in New York.

Amy Sillman, After Metamorphoses (still), Video animation with iPad drawings, 2015-16, 5 mins., Copyright © Amy Sillman, Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery

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