Ellen Garvens: Prosthesis

Ellen Garvens—Prosthesis
January 14–March 5, 2009
Gallery Reception: January 29, 2009, 5–7pm

Light Work is pleased to announce its upcoming spring exhibition, Prosthesis, featuring the work of Ellen Garvens. We invite you to schedule tours and gallery talks, attend our gallery receptions, and visit any time to see the exhibitions. In Prosthesis, Ellen Garvens’ photographs and sculptures intersect and magnify each other as they reference the ever-present, formidable, and magnificent frailty of the human body. This exhibition unites photographs from Garvens’ Ambivalence series with photo-based sculptures from herConstructions series.

Garvens began creating the images from the Ambivalence series, which documents the manufacture of prosthetics, at around the same time the war in Iraq started. The prosthetics depicted in these straightforward and elegant photographs serve as reminders of the consequence of conflict and the ephemeral nature of humans who carry out that conflict. According to Mary Goodwin, assistant director at Light Work, “The Ambivalence photographs draw the contour of an exquisite interior armature, a system of support for the body that becomes visible, in this case, through the act of its replacement. Like a photograph, a prosthesis echoes the shape of what once was; its shape derives from an antecedent no longer present, signifying not only the passage of time but also the ephemeral nature and delicacy of the human form.”

The photo-based sculptures from Garvens’ body of work titled Constructions combine images of the body within delicate metal framings. In this series, hand tools, some from everyday life, such as scissors and pliers, and some, including probes and tooth extractors, more directly related to the maintenance of the body, integrate with images of hands and other overtly organic forms. Much as prosthetic devices contain the memory of the body, the hand-tools and metal framings of this series give form to the photographs within them. The Constructions bring the themes of the body and the revelation of its armature into three dimensions.

Garvens received a BS in Art from the University of Wisconsin, and both an MA and MFA from the University of New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited nationwide, including at such venues as Solomon Fine Art in Seattle, WA; Jayne H. Baum Gallery in New York, NY; Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art in Cleveland, OH; Fotofest International in Houston, TX; and Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco, CA, among others. She has received numerous grants, awards, and fellowships, including a Royalty Research Fund Grant and an Artist Trust Fellowship from the Washington State Arts Commission, among others. Her work is included in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY; Houston Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX; Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, OH; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

Also on view at this time is the Transmedia Photography Annual featuring the work of students in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Gallery hours for these exhibitions are Sunday to Friday, 10am–6pm, and by appointment. To schedule an appointment, please call 315-443-1300. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Marion Parking Lot and Booth Garage.

Light Work invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition and facility. Light Work is a non-profit, artist-run organization dedicated to the support of artists working in photography and electronic media. Light Work is a member of CMAC, the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers at Syracuse University.

For more information about any of these exhibitions, please contact Jessica Heckman at Light Work, 315-443-1300 or jhheckma@syr.edu.

**Digital press images and image information from this exhibition are available upon request.

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