REBECCA CHAMBERLAIN received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Chamberlain is known for her accomplishments in fine art, fashion and performance. She has exhibited at VOLTA NY, 303 Gallery and Knoedler Project Space, New York, judi rotenberg gallery, Boston, Champion Fine Art, LA and Agenzio04, Bologna, Italy. She was the recipient of Artlog's best booth at VOLTA NY 2010 and Joan Mitchell Grant. Chamberlain's work has been reviewed in Artforum, The New York Times, Art in America, Artinfo.com, The Boston Globe, Flash Art and Tema Celeste among other publications. Her work is included in the collection of Fidelity Investments. Raised in Pennsylvania, Chamberlain currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Rebecca Chamberlain's glowing mid-century interiors seem at once frozen in time and pregnant with anticipation. Pristine nearly to the point of seeming antiseptic, the gleaming surfaces and perfectly aligned furniture project an impression of cold efficiency and complete control. Rarely occupied, and even then only by suggestively placed chairs or dim shadows nearly out of sight, the environments she depicts seem insular, safe, and protected - an impression heightened by our frequent inability to see the chaotic outside world through their windows. When it does appear, we see only glimpses of serene, often wooded landscapes through the windows, which only serve to heighten the placid mood.
The spaces thus depicted have an unmistakeable identity, which is clearly a gendered one. Chamberlain sees the offices she depicts as primarily male spaces, as they were at the time they were built and furnished. However, soft elements like plants introduce a touch of the feminine. Similarly, unoccupied chairs seem receptive, passive, listening and waiting patiently for the moment when they will be rendered useful. The domestic interiors, on the other hand, might traditionally be seen as feminine, but in the case of these modernist rooms, one sees hard, geometric, vertical elements that suggest, at the very least, the hand of the (generally male) architect at work.
Architecture and building are thematized in the very materials used to produce these elegant drawings. The paper is vintage tracing paper of the sort used by architects and builders, which may be rolled up and unfurled a hundred times without being damaged. Its age is roughly the same as the rooms depicted on it, so it forges a physical link to the past that encourages us to imagine wandering these spaces at the time of their completion. The pigment in the earlier works is ballpoint ink, a tricky, sticky, substance that bcomes a kind of viscous and uncontrollable enamel when mixed with a medium of acetone or alcohol. The recent move to lithographic inks allows for more color range while preserving the desirable iridescence and viscosity of the ballpoint ink. The tension between the rigid perfection of the environments and the unpredictability of the medium becomes a metaphor for the struggle to control our lives in an dangerous world.
Chamberlain's work, for all of its beauty, has at its heart an awareness of deep social anxieties. Whether exploring and questioning the gendered nature of design and the strictures it places on the choices we make, or desperately trying to give structure and permanence to our unpredictable and entropic world, it encourages in the viewer a general critical appreciation of the the link between psychology and space, exposing a little-appreciated mechanism for the assertion and manipulation of identity and power in our quotidian existence.
Elizabeth M. Grady
tel: (917) 679-9056
REBECCA E. CHAMBERLAIN
Born Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Ravensbourne College of Design, Chiselhurst, England
…Wouldn't it be sublime…, DODGEgallery, New York, NY
Vivid: Female Currents in Painting, Schroeder, Romero & Shredder, New York, NY
DRAMATIS PERSONAE, DODGEgallery, New York, NY
Sites of Memory: Architecture and Remembering, curated by William Stover, Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York, NY
Empire State of Mind, VOLTA NY with judi rotenberg gallery, New York, NY
Pre- Occupation, judi rotenberg gallery, Boston, MA
Death Is Not The End, 31 Grand, NYC
Summer , Knoedler Project Space, NYC
Places, Jim Kempner Fine Art, NYC
Just a Ghostly Paper Sigh, 31 Grand Gallery, NYC
Interiors, Imoderni, Miami, FL
At Work, Judi Rotenberg Gallery, Boston, MA
Three for Society, 303 Gallery, NYC
In Pursuit of Happiness, Sarah Bowen Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
New York, New Work, Agenzia 04, Bolognia, Italy
Group Show, Audio Engine, NYC
Inside/Out, The Garage, Jersey city, NJ
#3, Champion Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
Dead Kids do Nothing, 31 Grand, Brooklyn, NY
The Studio, David Allen Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Art & Community VI: The Color Project, Esther M. Klien Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
KAWAII / tête á tête - Twins Series, PUSH, NYC
KAWAII / tête á tête, Move Lab, NYC
Size Matters, Gail Gates fine art, Dumbo NY
A Room With a View, Sixth @ Prince Fine Art, NYC
KAWAII / tête á tête – XMAS Messages, Showroom Gallery, Santa Fe
NM WAIT STATION, Showroom Gallery at The Art Exchange, NYC
Smells Like Vinyl at Roger Merian Gallery, NYC
Indrisek, Scott, "The Agenda," Artinfo.com, May
Walleston, Aimee, "The Shadows of Modernism: Rebecca Chamberlain," Art in America, May.
Moran, Jarrett, "Rebecca Chamberlain," Artlog, May.
Miranda, Caroline, "This Week: Must-See Arts in the City," WNYC.org, May.
Safronova, Valeriya, "Exhibiti See: "Wouldn't it be sublime…" Opens on Saturday," complex.com, May.
Gaddy, James, "Art and About in May," NYCgo.com, April.
Edwards, Meghan, "Cracked Spaces," V and M, April.
"Rebecca Chamberlain," THE LAST MAGAZINE, March.
Smith, Roberta, "VIVID," The New York Times, January.
Billard, Mary, "The Designer Marcia Patmos Has a Solo Collection," The New York Times, December.
"Common Thread," Elle Magazine, December.
Banai, Nuit, "Rebecca Chamberlain," Artforum, January.
"Gallery-Going,"The New York Sun, July.
McQuaid, Cate, "At Play in the halls of power," The Boston Globe, September.
Armetta, Amoreen, "Three for Society," Time Out, July.
Goodbody, Bridget, "Three for Society," The New York Times, June.
"New York New York," l'arte della Grande Mela Gli universi nascosti e reali di tre emegenti, bologna da vivere, June.
"New York, New York, tre giovni artiste," Bologna il Resto del Carlino, June.
Musso, Claudio, "New York New Work," Exhibition on Paper, March.
Paderni, Marinella, "New York, New York," tema celeste, March.
Salferno, Paolo, "New York, New Work," Exhibition Round Table, February.
Purves, Miranda, "House Party," ELLE, December.
Wolf, "Summer Group Shows Roundup," Flash Art, October.
Johnson, "Last Chance Review," The New York Times, July.
Cohen, "Gallery - Going," The New York Sun, July.
Dergan, Hogan, "Cash and Carry Art," SMOCK, Vol.2 #1, Winter.
Fenton, "Music," WIRED 9, April.
AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES
Artlog, Best Booth at VOLTA NY
Joan Mitchell grant to attend Atlantic Center for the Arts Residency
Maxi Geil! & Playcolt, Fuze Box Festival, Austin TX
Maxi Geil! & Playcolt, After Hours, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC
Maxi Geil! & Playcolt (Screening of Nausea II and performances), Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Maxi Geil! & Playcolt, LIVE!, presented by Roebling Hall for the New York Armory Show Brooklyn, NY
Maxi Geil! & Playcolt “Edition Deluxe”, 3 night, multi media performance presented by Roebling Hall Gallery, NYC
The Infant Reader, member of a three person performance installation group that creates environments combining sound, light, and mixed visual effects.
“Sound Lab” group performance to accompany CD release on Beggars Banquet SULFUR/SULPHER label, NYC
Earl McGrath Gallery, NYC
Fringe Festival, Philadelphia, PA
“The Shape of Sound”, Exit Art, NYC
The Art Exchange, NYC
407 Gallery, NYC