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Tamar Halpern's first solo exhibition with On Stellar Rays opens in New York
Tamar Halpern, How the Thing Sings, 2014. UltraChrome ink on linen, 70 by 60 inches (177.75 x 152.4 cm). Courtesy On Stellar Rays and the artist.

NEW YORK, NY.- On Stellar Rays announces the opening — on Sunday, February 22 — of Tamar Halpern’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, My Voice at the Pace of Drifting Clouds.

Halpern presents new paintings on linen, using photography, collage, and ink-jet printing to build layered surfaces combining graphic elements and more atmospheric imagery.

As with previous work, photography plays an essential role in Halpern’s studio, capturing simple visual information available in her immediate environment — walls, floors, water, textiles, a cat, a screen, the work itself — in an improvisational and nondiscriminatory manner that acknowledges the subjective nature of photography, while further actuating the fragmentary and non-specific nature of circulated images.

Halpern’s new work also embraces an additive process that is decidedly painterly. Her signature techniques — especially those working on photo paper — are present, albeit as collage, along with numerous other printing processes and more physical gestures, generating a palpable tension between the flatness of digital images and the plasticity of painting. The process of layering defies conventional use of representational space; Halpern’s personal experiences, her temporal and visual point of view, collapse into a single, ever-present, and shifting surface, a record of the acts and moments that took place in its making.

Halpern frequently makes allusions to music, evoking an acoustic space that depends on a continuous present moment, like improvisational jazz. The title of the exhibition, My Voice at the Pace of Drifting Clouds, is appropriated from a song by Merzbow, the stage name of Japanese noise musician Masami Akita. Merzbow is known for his complex recording and fusion of analog and digital sound samples, described as compositions of residue, waste, or feedback noise. Although Halpern is working with a visual language, the process is similar, surmounting the divide between the digital and analog — the mechanical and the natural — opening the possibility that perhaps amid the dense and often overwhelming chatter of day-to-day information, an impartial attentiveness may offer patterns, beauty, ideas, new potential.

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