SE Cooper Contemporary for Platform, in Cooperation with David Zwirner Gallery
SE Cooper Contemporary
for Platform, in partnership with David Zwirner Gallery
In her latest series of artworks, Emily Weiner creates symbols from Yiddish theater, ancient Greek drama, Commedia dell'arte, physics, and psychology, among other fields of paradox and performance. These works are spaces of paradox that reference theater as a metaphor for contemporary life and art.
Weiner approaches each of her paintings intuitively and, by working in many layers of paint, finds synchronicity in combinations of colors and imagery. She combines ceramics and oil painting into a grouping of symbols and geometries that have been recognized throughout the history of art.
In Origins, stage curtains open to an impassible mountain. At the center of it sits a black hole, implying a prop-like cutout or a cartoon escape route from this perceived reality while also suggesting the overall composition of an eye.
Pierrot (Entangled) conflates symbols from Commedia dell'arte (the costume of Pierrot and his guitar) into one body. One symmetrical hand shape hovers in the middle of the canvas, at once a protective symbol and a trompe l’oeil cutout that reveals the white wall behind it. The terracotta frame echoes a guitar shape, referring to the stock clown character made popular by modern artists such as Picasso and Gris.
Confluence (Wave) refers to Mundus Inversus (Latin for “upside-down world”), a theatrical trope originating in Greek drama wherein traditional societal roles could be reversed and subverted on stage. Here, the curtains open not to any immediate human action but to an empty and ageless landscape.
Paradox (figure/ground) presents a series of nested geometries playing with relationships between figure and ground, form and function, and material and value. The artist has framed a marbled ground—painted in lapis lazuli-blue within a pink cutout of a Doric column—while a Rubin vase in the center of the painting affirms the notion that perception is constantly in flux.