The Armory Show, Diana Thater, David Zwirner
David Zwirner presents the work of Diana Thater at this year's The Armory Show (*Pier 92, Booth 701). The artist will have a solo presentation at the gallery's booth of three new video walls made up of nine monitors each.
Known best for her work with room-sized video and film installation, Thater has been producing works with flowers since her first exhibition in Los Angeles in 1992 (Oo Fifi, Five Days on Claude Monet's Garden), which was recently on view at 1301PE in Los Angeles where Thater and gallery owner BrIan Butler celebrated the 20th anniversary of the work (it was their first show together) by exhibiting it again as it was first shown.
In keeping with her studio work over the past 20 years, Thater will be working with still lifes of flowers. Able to produce about one large installation a year, Thater makes work in her studio during the rest of the year using floral arrangements and experimenting with film and video techniques.
For The Armory Show presentation, the artist will break the flatness of the video walls by bending them around the corners of the booth. One work will be flat against the wall like a painting, the other two, though made in the same way and meant to be "flat," will actually turn at 90 degree angles, wrapping around in the corners of the booth and emphasizing the architectural three-dimensionality of the video walls.
Thater produced her first large portrait of flowers in the 2001 exhibition the sky is unfolding under you at David Zwirner in SoHo. Simultaneously she presented her first architectural video wall with flowers at the Dia Center for the Arts as part of her exhibition knots+surfaces. Since then Thater has made over 20 flower video walls and projections.
In this latest work, she has produced a suite of three walls of purple Clematis. The flowers were shot in 16mm film using several camera techniques including in-camera double exposures and day-for-night filters. The flowers were shot in the rain using various focal lengths. The results are otherworldly with double images of the flowers floating in and out of focus while the rain, always in sharp focus, pours in between the camera and the subject but never touches the flowers. The rain, flowers, and background are three separate fields yielding three distinct layers in the works.
Thater proposes here, as in all her still life works, that flowers live in motion and in time. These meditative pieces highlight as well other elements for which Thater is well known: supersaturated colors and the grainy filmic surface.
Diana Thater had her first exhibition with David Zwirner in 1993, and in December 2012, on view was Chernobyl, her seventh solo exhibition at the gallery.
*The Armory Show takes place in Pier 92 & Pier 94 located on Manhattan's west side on the Hudson River at 12th Avenue & 55th Street.