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Andrea Stanislav

           

           

           

     

           

                 

           

           


Andréa Stanislav is a contemporary artist whose work includes sculpture, constructions, sound, multichannel video and installation. A Chicago native who currently splits her time between New York City and Minneapolis, her work is informed by a synthesis of elements mined from concepts of dystopia, film, pop culture and the baroque, minimalism and pop.

Theodor Adorno once said that ‘without the notion of an unfettered life, freed from death, the idea of utopia, of the utopia, cannot even be thought at all.’ If this is correct it lends a terrible irony to the fact that Man’s attempts to create ideal conditions for himself are so often mapped out through trails of carnage and destruction.

The work of Andréa Stanislav displays an acute awareness of this tension and offers a series of elegant yet challenging reflections on the limits and failures of the utopic imagination. Reflection is a key word in Stanislav’s lexicon, as it serves to indicate both the means and the ends of her artistic endeavor. In her work, the viewer is not simply invited but compelled, by use of reflective surfaces, to interrogate their own position vis-à-vis the artwork, and, by extension, vis-à-vis history and culture.

The formal surfaces in the work, revealing the face of the viewer at every turn, point to the futility of our attempts to escape our always unsatisfactory current conditions. Yet at all times the viewer is haunted by her own face. By considering the breakdown of the utopian imaginary in this manner Stanislav’s work precisely locates and interrogates the limits of human rationality. In all this, Stanislav constantly reminds us that what we fear and seek to control is precisely what we desire most and never truly find: pure wild, unadulterated nature.

Author William Burroughs suggests the notion that, "at the end of the human line, everything is permitted" in the text "The Western Lands." The novel is a touchstone for Stanislav's sculptural work acknowledging Burroughs' assault on the natural order, an assault predicated on breaking inviolable evolutionary laws to produce animal beings that stand outside the natural order -- Natural Outlaws. Informed by this, the sculpture pushes the rococo and the baroque to evokes what Burroughs contends is a final taboo or transgressive act.

Stanislav's work revels, almost in a mood of resistance, in that most traditional of artistic dimensions: beauty. Limited as we are, fragile as bodies may be, the work adorns the mundane with decoration, letting its tiny inhabitants spin and glitter, millions of pristine points, fragments of faces and hopeful eyes.

Recent exhibits include: AiOP, NYC, Al Sabah Gallery, Kuwait, D.U.M.B.O. Arts Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., Fieldgate Gallery, London, Jonathan Shorr Gallery, NYC, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, thisisnotashop gallery, Dublin, Ireland, Scope Art Fair, NYC, Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Transparency and Trans-formations: American Art at the Residence, Stockholm, Sweden, Sculpture Key West, Key West, FL, The Weisman Museum of Art, Minneapolis, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art

Upcoming solo exhibitions through 2011 include: Art Ecology, Louisville, Ky., Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, Jonathan Shorr Gallery, New York, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, N.D., and Yuanfen New Media Art Space, Beijing, China.