Sarah Halpern, five fingers, collage on paper, 9 x 11 1/4 in, 2013  © Image courtesy of the artist

Paper Plexus
April 20 – May 19, 2013  EXTENDED TO SUNDAY MAY 26
opening reception Saturday April 20, 6-9pm

Microscope Gallery is very pleased to present Paper Plexus, the first solo exhibition of works by Sarah Halpern. Using a palette of primarily black, white and the color of fading book pages, Halpern’s new and recent paper collage works draw inspiration from the Brooklyn-based artist’s active practice and interest in cinema and film – a medium she works with regularly, along with music, slide projection, and video.

Halpern’s eight collages on view are meticulous compositions interweaving cut-outs of text and images from writings on film theory, movie fan magazines as well as passages from books by S. J. Perelman. With a passion for comedy, puns and absurd pairings, the artist gives shape to alternative scenarios where perspectives collapse; text – often used simply as image – is displayed in varied sizes and directions; and characters that float free from flat surfaces cast real shadows. Halpern says of her works, “In film, I carry out an idea or movement through time. With paper I present time and movement within a single fixed image.”

Several of the collages in Paper Plexus are inspired by the artist’s discovery of “The Film Classic Library” – a series of complete re-constructions of Hollywood movies in book form – from which she has appropriated, among others, images of Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor starring in John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon”. Freeing these references from the confines of character and plot structure, Halpern creates a layered conversation concerning film iconography and male/female relationships.

Also of significance, is the concept of the Macguffin as articulated in films by Alfred Hitchcock as a specific object driving an entire movie from start to finish. Transposing this idea into her compositions, Halpern uses minimal elements, usually surrounded by area of white of black space, in her attempt to isolate such object or image in her own work.

SARAH HALPERN works with 16mm film, collage on paper, 35mm slides, music and performance. Her work is largely focused on cinematic time and the active role of the viewer, and has been shown previously at venues including The Museum of Moving Image, The Kitchen, Participant Inc, Anthology Film Archives, and Microscope Gallery. Halpern holds a B.A. in Film and Electronic Arts from Bard College.

Sarah Halpern CV

Sarah Halpern, perspective ratio, collage on paper, 9 3/4 x 6 1/4 in, 2013

Sarah Halpern, a projection, pencil and collage on paper, 9 x 11 3/8 in, 2013


© 2013 – all images are courtesy of Sarah Halpern

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