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Site-specific installation by Rachel Feinstein on view at Gagosian Gallery in Rome
A Rachel Feinstein Installation view, 2012. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photo by Matteo Piazza.
ROME.- Gagosian Gallery presents a site-specific installation by Rachel Feinstein. This is her first exhibition in Rome.

Feinstein's multi-part installations, which contain autonomous sculptures and paintings, reveal her singular flair for synthesizing a myriad of cultural fascinations--religion, myth, beauty, mortality, decadence--into vignettes of the marvelous. Oil paintings on mirrored surfaces, flat propped sculptures reminiscent of stage dressings, and abstracted reworkings of classical sculpture confront persistent issues of artistic representation such as theatricality and illusionism. By layering quotations from diverse artistic, architectural, cultural, and stylistic sources--from religious iconography to Baroque sculpture, Romantic landscapes, and popular cartoons-- art and history are charged with a burlesque sensibility.

In this latest of her compelling fantasies, Feinstein has covered the interior gallery walls with a panoramic wallpaper of an impressionistic Rome. Sourcing and collaging diverse artistic visions of the city from different historical periods, she first made a large oil painting on mirror depicting this heterotopia of her own invention, where an eighteenth century piazza scene buzzing with life jostles against ancient ruins and an Arcadian landscape. This was then printed on mirrored wallpaper, to which five diamond-shaped glass mirrors, painted with faces, are fixed, merging cunningly with the background panorama while catching and reflecting the passing viewer's gaze.

Against this scenography stand four larger than life-size sculptures, inspired by favorite depictions of early Christian saints and martyrs. Working from small paper models, the designs are scaled up into curved and spliced wooden elements and coated in pale monochrome resin. Their sketchy, dynamic lines evoke the muscular Baroque aesthetic that dominates the Roman environment, but without the volume or mass.

There is the Archangel Michael, who vanquished Satan in a heavenly war; Saint Agatha the virgin martyr and symbol of resistance, who survived numerous tortures for her devout faith, most notably having her breasts cut off as punishment for rejecting the sexual advances of a Roman prefect; Saint Sebastian, who miraculously survived being pierced with arrows for his refusal to disavow his faith, only to be beaten to death later; and Saint Christopher, the patron of travelers who bears the weight of the world upon his shoulders. Devoid of the expressionistic detail of their famous agonies and ecstasies, the sculptures function like shadows in the round, suggestive and yet remote from their original sources.

Rachel Feinstein was born in 1971 in Font Defiance, Arizona. She studied at Columbia University and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions, including "The Alliance," Hyundai Gallery, Beijing, China (2008, traveled to Hyundai Gallery, Korea); "Something About Mary," Metropolitan Opera House, New York (2009); "Rachel Feinstein: The Snow Queen," Lever House, New York (2011); and "The Little Black Dress," SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia (2012). Feinstein lives and works in New York.

I'll do a drawing, and then drawings of the drawing, and keep getting away from the source as many times over as I can so I don't just replicate. I'm not interested in trying to copy the object itself. And then sometimes I'll cut up the drawing and hot glue-gun the whole thing into a three-dimensional paper drawing, and either that will become a sculpture on its own--because that weird, flattened, planed-wood sculpture will be really beautiful--or I'll use that as a skeleton, and then I'll add stuff on top.

--Rachel Feinstein





Last Week News

November 16, 2012

Chinese art star Yue Minjun brings 'laughing men' to the Fondation Cartier in Paris

Mummified dog, found in 1953, undergoing analysis by Mexican archaeologists

Legendary Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II's feather head-dress restored in Vienna

An unprecedented eight Caravaggio paintings on view together for the first time in California

Secrets of a Hans Holbein portrait revealed after 400 years at the Royal Collection

Scientists in the Czech Republic rule out mercury poisoning of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe

Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain bracelet fetches $3.4 mn at Sotheby's Geneva auction

Phillips de Pury & Company announces highlights from its November Latin America Auction

Collection of 300 Vodou artifacts in new exhibition at Canadian Museum of Civilization

Royal Academician Gillian Ayres exhibition opening today at Alan Cristea Gallery

French-Moroccan artist Latifa Echakhch opens exhibition at Kunsthaus Zurich

Exhibition of new and recent works by Jannis Kounellis opens at Blain/Southern in Berlin

Marc Asnin chronicles the life of his uncle Charlie in new exhibition at Steven Kasher Gallery

Contemporary art market roars in New York

Fabric of Identity: Works from the IMMA Collection at the Roscommon Arts Centre

One bidder buys all to keep Muhlenberg family treasures together and in the process sets auction record

Sculpture of Churchill and Roosevelt top London Sales of Modern British Art this week at Bonhams

Valencian Institute for Modern Art opens retrospective of Antoni Miró

Extremely rare World War II German Enigma machine sells at Bonhams for over £80,000

November 15, 2012

$40.4 million painting by abstract expressionist Franz Kline sets record at Christie's New York

Guggenheim opens last exhibition in Berlin; Shows masterpieces of Impressionism and Classic Modernism

First comprehensive retrospective of artist George Bellows in nearly half a century on view at Metropolitan

New York's Chelsea: The hub of the global contemporary art market flooded - literally

New Banksy book from St. Martin’s Press offers an eye-opening glimpse of the enigmatic figure

Sotheby's to sell three views of Constantinople by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky

Images of People: Figurative works from the collection on view at Museum Frieder Burda

Exhibition at the Getty Center includes late Renaissance drawings by Italian, Dutch, and French masters

Retrospective spanning the length of Wayne Thiebaud's career on view at Acquavella Galleries

Archduke Joseph Diamond fetches record $21.5 million at Christie's sale in Geneva

Collection from the New Britain Museum of American Art on view at Nassau County Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art launches innovative new mobile art guide on more than 100 objects

Photographic and free-writing installation by Cig Harvey on view at The Robin Rice Gallery

Associated Press photographer Walt Zeboski dies at age 83

Iconic film car, 'Rain Man' 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, may bring six figures at Heritage Auctions

Rare Yongzheng blue and white vase to be sold at Bonhams in December

Works of art using a single color is focus of exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs: 19th-Century Photographs from Paris to Petra on view at Paris Photo

Rare Salvador Dali jewelry to be offered at Clars in December

Howard Terpning's Plunder from Sonora brings $962,500 to lead Heritage Auctions' sale

November 14, 2012

Seminal, large-scale masterpiece by Rothko fetches $75.1 million at Sotheby's in New York

Auction of works from the Andy Warhol Foundation fetches over $17 million at Christie's New York

Rule Britannia: Details of Christie's Modern British Art Evening Sale in December announced

Tate takes a look at the dynamic relationship between performance and painting from 1950 to the present day

The Duc D'orléans Breguet Sympathique will lead Sotheby's Important Watches & Clocks Sale

Four paintings stolen from the Pretoria Art Museum found in South Africa cemetery

Christie's France to offer the Henri-Georges & Ines Clouzot Collection in December

Irish Museum of Modern Art announces donation of a set of fifty-two Mexican prints

Auction of David Stickelber Estate at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers exceeds high estimate

Louvre, High, Crystal Bridges, and Terra Foundation announce multi-year American Art collaboration

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago announces new Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator Naomi Beckwith

Viking hoard of swords form cutting edge of Bonhams Arms & Armour Sale in London

Bonhams Hong Kong to offer The Paul Braga Collection of snuff bottles on 24 November

The Book of Kells by Bernard Meehan published by Thames & Hudson

Locust Projects presents "Soul Manufacturing Corporation" by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates,

Ricardo Rendón's first solo exhibition in New York opens at Vicky David Gallery

Cantor Arts Center presents acclaimed Christian Marclay work Video Quartet

A record-breaking watch auction at Christie's Geneva

A re-discovered monumental 1851 exhibition center piece Surtout de Table emerges from history at auction

Laumeier Sculpture Park receives major work by Ernest Trova as gift from Estate of Grace Brod

November 13, 2012

Archaeologists discover human burials that signal the final phase of Pre-Hispanic period

Major international loan exhibition at the Getty Museum explores the art that gave rise to the Renaissance

Thieves in South Africa steal $2 million worth of art at the Pretoria Art Museum in Johannesburg

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University opens new Zaha Hadid-designed building

Edward Hopper's Vermont watercolors featured in new book by Bonnie Tocher Clause

Major early work by Mikhail Larionov to headline MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions

Trisha Donnelly organizes exhibition of works from MoMA's collection as part of Artist's Choice Series

South Korea's top cultural treasure, Namdaemun (South Gate), rises from the ashes

Phillips de Pury & Co. announces Robert Kennan appointed to be head of London Editions Department

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 'crown jewels' are highlight at Shanghai exhibition

Deutsche Bank to run Berlin contemporary art museum without Guggenheim Foundation

A new falcon flies for Tefaf Maastricht: The fair that defines excellence in art focuses on three core values

First ever full-scale survey of Jim Shaw's work opens at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Ravenel's inaugural Fine Jewels and Jadeite Sale led by a fancy intense blue and pink diamonds ring

Silver centrepiece depicting a railway bridge which inspired Claude Monet on sale at Bonhams

First career-spanning monograph of American master Harold Feinstein to be published by Nazraeli Press

Tate Britain opens major display featuring works by Ian Hamilton FInlay

$100,000+ Hermes Diamond Birkin tops epic holiday offering of luxury handbags at Heritage Auctions

Antik A.S. to offer masterpieces of modern & contemporary Turkish art

Evocative Japanese bamboo art at Bellevue Arts Museum

November 12, 2012

Sotheby's to offer the only surviving artwork from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Works by Hopper, O'Keeffe, Bierstadt, and Sully lead Christie's Sale of American Art

Works from the Banque Cantonale Vaudoise art collection on view at The Fondation de l'Hermitage

Art Institute of Chicago opens new galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine art

Antiquities-Saleroom announces its next online auction to be held on November 16

First New York exhibition of new work by Günther Uecker since 1966 opens at Haunch of Venison

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich offers a rare opportunity to see Ansel Adams work in the UK

Comprehensive survey of Andy Warhol's Flowers paintings on view at Eykyn Maclean

"The Guitar: An American Love Story" exhibition opens at the Tennessee State Museum

Julien's Auctions sells Judy Garland's dress worn in The Wizard of Oz for $480,000

Exhibition explores Marcel Duchamp's impact on four great contemporary artists

Auckland-based Peter Stichbury opens second solo show at Tracy Williams, Ltd.

Exhibition of new work by Huang Yong Ping opens at Gladstone Gallery in New York

Ashmolean autumn exhibition: "Threads of Silk and Gold: Ornamental Textiles from Meiji Japan"

Stunning, never-before-shown works on paper created by Elie Nadelman on view at June Kelly Gallery

Tammam Azzam's solo exhibition of new digital and installation art on show at Ayyam Art Center

Studio Museum juxtaposes new work in diverse media with mid-20th century photography in new exhibition

Works by contemporary artists to be sold at Christie's to benefit the Brooklyn Museum

Libyans discover video art after four-decade cultural vacuum

William Kentridge I am not me, the horse is not mine on view in The Tanks at Tate Modern

November 11, 2012

Polish sale of Marilyn Monroe photographs by Milton H. Greene achieves $750,000

Exhibition website by Guggenheim Museum highlights Picasso's artistic inspirations

Sotheby's to offer ten secret love letters from Mick Jagger to Marsha Hunt from the summer of 1969

Collapse of Maya civilization tied to drought: study by international team of researchers

Celebrating with art's biggest names, Ketterer Kunst announces its 400th auction

The Tansey Collection: Miniatures from the time of Marie Antoinette at Philip Mould & Co.

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery re-opens Olafur Eliasson's "Volcanoes and shelters"

Exhibition of new work by San Diego based artist Kelsey Brookes opens at Quint Contemporary Art

Eisenstaedt's Children at a Puppet Theater, private collection of Weegees, at Heritage Auctions sale

Corcoran is the only East Coast venue to show full photographic project by Taryn Simon

Enigmatic artist Ian Fairweather's Bribie Island work on show at Queensland Art Gallery

Legend of American art: Norman Rockwell comes to the Crocker Art Museum

A rare masterpiece by Diego Rivera to be offered at Christie's Latin American Sale

Carnegie Museum of Art presents a survey of work by contemporary artist Cory Arcangel

Dana Schutz's inventive, contemporary paintings on view at the Denver Art Museum

The Phillips Collection joins Google Art Project extending intimate experience with art across the globe

Largest collection of Lalique ever offered at Heritage Auctions' highlights two-day art glass event

Huntington presents exhibition of works by contemporary artists Lesley Vance and Ricky Swallow

Vets preserve memories of war with their own art

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