April 7 - May 7, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday | April 7 from 6-8 p.m.
In “Reconstructed Reliquaries,” Stephanie Lempert’s new body of work, the artist continues her exploration into methods of communication, and more narrowly with language. Lempert explores the intertwined nature of cherished mementos and the childhood reminiscences that make them precious. The Artist consolidates complex and multifaceted family narratives held in the memory of the real life storytellers and connects them to a single inanimate object found in our workaday world. For this project, Lempert interviewed close to 100 persons from all walks of life, exploring the rationale behind the reasons certain memories stay with us and why we form attachments to particular objects.
Known primarily as a photographer and video artist, Lempert has taken the next logical step in her studio practice by incorporating three dimensional works to consolidate her concepts. Traditional sculpture, marble or wood, is achieved by a reductive process, removing a thin layer at a time to obtain the precise form the artist has envisioned. In contrast, Lempert creates her sculptures by adding on thin layer by thin layer, creating a work of art that technologically would not be possible just a few years ago. Using a cutting edge 3-dimensional stereoscopic printing process, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a rapid prototyping process, Lempert is able to use the actual handwriting of the storytellers to create the sculpture itself; the subjects’ own words make their memories tangible objects. Infusing these icons with human emotions, Lempert weaves stories, literally and figuratively reconstructing memories in such a way as to create a repository for the next generation’s hopes and dreams; the sculpture she has created becomes the touchstones of the very words they embrace.
“Reconstructed Reliquaries” consists of fifteen sculptures including a kitchen knife, a birdcage, chess board, globe and a plush bunny among others. The full scale chess board tells the story of a man who, as a little boy, spent summers with his beloved grandfather. The grandfather taught him to play chess and year by year the boy grew in his abilities until the day he could beat his grandfather at the game. It was a very proud day for both of them. Another sculpture, a size 8 stiletto pump, tells the story of a little girl looking up at her beautiful mother getting ready to go out to a party. The child could not wait for the day that she herself would be allowed to wear such amazing shoes; they would make her graceful, sexy, statuesque and so powerful.
Lempert graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. The Artist is in the public collections of The Sagamore Hotel, Miami, FL, the Stella Art Foundation, Moscow, Russian Federation, and the Rhode Island School of Design, Woods-Gerry Gallery in Providence, RI. Lempert is a recipient of an Emerging Artist Fellowship, Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, NY, an A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship, New York, NY and a Scope Emerging Artist Grant, Scope Art Fair, New York, NY. Lempert’s work has been exhibited in The Dallas Museum of Art, Cheongju City, Republic of Korea, Barcelona, Spain and Moscow, Russian Federation.