“Anne Collier remakes women as they have been photographed by others… not so much in her own image, but in an image that questions the image.” (Hilton Als)
Anton Kern Gallery presents an exhibition of new work by the New York-based artist Anne Collier. This is Collier’s fifth solo exhibition with Anton Kern and her first in the gallery’s new 55th Street location.
Collier’s exhibition includes recent works from her ongoing series “Women Crying”; two text-based photographic works based on printed materials originally used in group-therapy and self-analysis; works from her latest series “Crying (Comic)” and “Tears (Comic)”; and a 35mm slide projection piece “Women With Cameras (Self Portrait)”.
Sourced from imagery that appeared on record covers from the 1960s-1980s the photographs in Collier’s ongoing series “Women Crying” depict tightly-cropped and dramatically enlarged images of women – actresses or models – acting out as if crying or in heightened emotional states. These contentious yet highly seductive images of manufactured emotion were originally targeted to a predominantly female audience, serving to reinforce the stubborn image of the emotionally or psychologically unstable female subject.
Collier’s most recent series “Crying (Comic)” and “Tears (Comic)” are drawn from imagery sourced in romance comic books published between the 1950s-1980s (that were also marketed to an adolescent female readership.)
The uniformly clichéd narratives further reinforce the notion of the subservient and eternally suffering female subject. Self-consciously acknowledging the early work of Roy Lichtenstein and the subsequent revisions of Lichtenstein’s iconography by Richard Hamilton and Sturtevant as departure points, Collier’s “Crying (Comic)” and “Tears (Comic)” consist of greatly enlarged and isolated details of women’s tear-filled eyes and graphic, schematic depictions of individual tears. Like Mike Kelley’s “Garbage Drawings” of the late 1980s Collier excises the original narrative context of the comic strips, focusing our intention instead on near-abstract, pixilated images that suggest or invoke suppressed psycho-sexual connotations.
“Women With Cameras (Self Portrait)” is a slide projection work comprised of eighty 35mm slides, each depicting a found photographic image of a woman taking a self-portrait. Dating from the pre-digital and pre-‘selfie’ era of the 1970s to the early 2000s, each of these amateur images – collected by Collier over many years from flea markets, thrift-stores and online market places – has, at some point in the recent past, been discarded by their original owners. These “abandoned” images amplify Collier’s persistent interest in photography’s relationship with memory, melancholia and loss.