Phoebe Washburn

My Rubies and My Diamonds

September 13 - October 27, 2012 Back to Exhibitions

Phoebe Washburn,  My Rubies and My Diamonds , 2012, installation view, Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York
Phoebe Washburn, My Rubies and My Diamonds, 2012, installation view, Josée Bienvenu Gallery, New York

Press Release

Phoebe Washburn

My Rubies and My Diamonds


September 13 - October 27, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 13, 6-8pm

Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present, “My Rubies and My Diamonds”, an exhibition of recent works on paper by Phoebe Washburn. The exhibition, in collaboration with Zach Feuer Gallery, is Phoebe Washburn’s first one-person show with the gallery. It will be on view from September 13 to October 27, 2012.

Phoebe Washburn is known for her sprawling installations combining a process driven studio practice with materials of everyday architectural life. Her work explores generative systems based on absurd patterns of production often created by inefficiency.  The rules that govern Washburn’s systems inform her sculptural installations, drawings and paintings, formally and conceptually. It is the first time an exhibition is dedicated to her works on paper. The show will be comprised of 23 paintings and drawings on newsprint, made on single or quadruple sheets.

Systems, rules, problems, behaviors, and the relationship between one activity to another influence her drawing process and these unfold and develop organically as the paintings/drawings evolve. Sometimes the works reference activities that occurred in existing installations. At times these memories get exaggerated and overblown; for example, stacking small pieces of wood become stacking plastic cups on the moon. Drawing and painting on newspaper is similar to building a structure with found wood.  Newspapers come from the real world and a larger system that is constantly in motion. Each sheet is dated and considered recorded history although it becomes immediately disposable as old news. The existing information on the newspaper provides a point of departure for the drawings. Even if most of the information is ultimately covered up, it is layered underneath and still affects the drawing on many levels.   

Playing with the ideas of looking at something, through something or in something is elemental to these works.  It manifests in different ways: the background field, the porthole, the arena, the moon, and the wormhole.  Sometimes these ways of looking and viewing are happening simultaneously.

Phoebe Washburn was born in 1973, she lives and works in New York and received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts.  Her work has been shown extensively in The USA and Europe. Selected exhibitions include: The Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover, Germany,  2008 Whitney Biennial in New York, Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and PS1/Moma, New York. Her large-scale installation at the National Academy Museum, New York, (Nudes, Housed Within Their Own Clothes and Aware of Their Individual Thirst, Descending a Staircase) will take place concurrently with the exhibition. She’s also preparing a solo show at Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense in Denmark to open  in 2013.