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Amy Adler
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Culver City, California
Recommendation by David S. Rubin

Amy Adler, “Hotel (no. 3),” 2018, oil pastel on canvas, 55 3/4 x 79 1/2”

Continuing through June 2, 2018

Although Amy Adler became recognized in the 1990s for photographs of drawings that she ultimately destroyed, she has been taking the opposite approach for more than a decade, exhibiting drawings based on photographs. In keeping with her ongoing interest in subverting norms for how to work with a particular medium, the drawings of photographs are executed on canvas, yielding unexpected surface qualities. In creating her new series “Hotel,” applying multiple layers of ochre and sepia oil pastel resulted in grainy surfaces where minute specs of the canvas weave contribute to an atmospheric effect of soft golden light hovering over each scenario. Within the context of the staged subject — the artist alone in a hotel room doing a variety of things one does in solitude — the texture lends a film noir quality to each vignette as it effectively simulates light from a movie projector. With the figures thickly outlined to resemble a book illustration, the drawings also suggest enlarged reproductions from a graphic novel.


Adler appears naked or near-naked in all of the private moments depicted in the “Hotel” series. She gazes out of a window and into a mirror, lounges in a chair, bed or bathtub, and revels in sunlight filtered through Venetian blinds. Throughout the series, the artist expresses a variety of temperaments, such as quiet reflection, nervous angst, frustrated boredom, and sensual self-awareness. Overall, abstract light patterns suggest an otherworldly or divine presence, much like that which characterizes the more realistic yet similarly haunting depictions of solitary women by the American master Edward Hopper.

Vielmetter Los Angeles

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