Bruce Silverstein Gallery is pleased to announce the second exhibition of works by installation artist Zoe Strauss. America: We Love Having You Here features works from the artist's recent travels throughout the United States and is accompanied by her first monograph (AMERICA, AMMO Books, 2008).
Strauss' transparency has been an indispensable element of her process since the public installations she built inside her home in 1997. Shortly thereafter, Strauss began a ten-year annual project entitled 'I-95' displaying photographs under a section of the I-95 highway overpass in Philadelphia. All of Strauss's exhibitions, including 'I-95', involve extensive awareness of and communication with her audience. Over the years, Strauss has maintained a blog, disclosing the subtleties of her art-making practices—airing choices about subject matter, composition, and printing process. More recently, she shared anguish over the sequencing of images in AMERICA, and consequently the censoring of two of those images while on press in China.
By making public the details of an otherwise private practice of producing art, Strauss asserts her working method for public consideration, allowing the audience to see the way the work is made as a fundamental component to its understanding. By maintaining total transparency in her process, her work, and even the production of her exhibitions, Zoe Strauss not only reveals her every musing and tendency, she offers the viewer a deeply personal understanding of her process as an artist - integral to the comprehension of her work.
In America: We Love Having You Here, Strauss continues to work in multi-layered installations. Framed photographs are placed intimately on the walls and wallpaper size murals anchor the main gallery. Conjuring the intimacy of her blog, Strauss has set up the front gallery as a living room—works are arranged salon style like family photos. A ‘Works in Progress’ slideshow is presented in the third gallery.
Strauss’ choice in subject matter reveals much about her life and work as an artist as well. Having gotten her start photographing the same neighborhood in which she lives, Strauss has consistently “shot what she knows” and has maintained an extremely personable approach to her subjects. From her earliest works on, Strauss has concentrated on the overlooked in America. Whether its overlooked citizens, environments, or the objects therein, Strauss has aimed her lens at those things we cannot or choose not to see. In her latest project, Strauss has taken her camera on the road in an attempt to create an apt portrait of the United States.
Zoe Strauss was featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. She received the 2007 USA Gund Fellow for Visual Arts, and her work was included in this year's Women to Watch exhibition at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.