“Elena Sisto: As We Dream at Bookstein Projects” on Whitehot Magazine

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“A New Ecology of Signs: Elena Sisto beyond the studio” on ArtCritical

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“Elena Sisto: A new kind of freedom” on Two Coats of Paint

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Elena Sisto: “As We Dream” open September 12 – October 27, 2018 at Lori Bookstein Fine Art.
September 12, 2018

Elena Sisto: As We Dream
September 12 – October 27, 2018
Reception: Tonight from 6:00-8:00 PM
Bookstein Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Elena Sisto. This is the artist’s third solo-show with Lori Bookstein and her first with Bookstein Projects.

Painted over the last two years, the paintings in this exhibition feature a cast of cartoon-like characters that function as self-portraits of the artist herself. Devoid of naturalistic colors, the faces of the subject are painted in a highly-keyed palette that includes coral, jade green, indigo and even violet. These faces appear at once both earnest and other-worldly as they poke through billowing, cloud-like masses of silver hair. In some instances, such as in Spirited Away, the hair envelops the entirety of the composition, isolating the figure’s green face from any discernible sense of place. Indeed, the artist’s hair becomes the focal point of a number of these paintings and acts as a signifier of both gender and age, as well as the self-assuredness that comes with both.

The titles of a majority of the paintings take their names from popular culture. Vagabond (for Agnès Varda) is an homage to the famous French director’s 1985 drama by the same name. Rapunella is a portmanteau of Rapunzel and Cinderella, the popular children’s fairytales. Taken as a whole, the titles suggest a land of alternate reality, or one so removed as to forgo any direct reference to the observed world. Flowers are articulated in fabric-like pattern of polka dots. The sky, when visible, is striated in bands of unblended, albeit prismatic color – sherbet orange, turquoise blue and a deep cobalt. Even buildings, stripped down to their most basic rectangular forms, seem like metonymy for New York City. These are paintings that elicit connotations of place and age and yet they resist any clear categorization.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Nancy Princenthal.

Elena Sisto (b. 1952) splits her time between New York, NY and Rhinebeck, NY. She received her BA from Brown University and studied at the New York Studio School. She has had solo museum shows at the Maier Museum, the Greenville County Museum, the Katzen Museum and the Miami Dade Museum of Art + Design. Sisto was included in the 43rd Corcoran Biennial and groups shows at the Wexner Center, the Weatherspoon Gallery, the Krannert Art Center, the Hunterdon Museum, the Newark Museum, UCLA Wight Gallery and the Katonah Museum. She’s the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Inglis Griswold Nelson Prize from the National Academy Museum and School, the George Rickey Foundation Grant and has been a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, Yaddo and the Millay Colony.

Elena Sisto: As We Dream will be on view from September 12 – October 27, 2018. A reception will be held on Wednesday, September 12th from 6:00-8:00pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. For additional information and/or visual materials, please contact the gallery at (212) 750-0949 or by email at info@booksteinprojects.com.

‘What Gets You Up in the Morning and Keeps you Going at Night’ an essay by Robert Storr
March 15, 2016

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NY TIMES: WHAT TO SEE
May 5, 2016

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Featured in The New Yorker
April 15, 2016

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The Brooklyn Rail: Review of ‘Afternoons’
May 6, 2016

Read the review here.

“The Solitariness of the Pursuit”: A Studio Visit with Elena Sisto
March 24, 2016

by Leslie Wayne

See more here.

“Afternoons” exhibition opening March 17 at Lori Bookstein Fine Art.
March 16, 2016

Afternoons exhibition opening March 17 at Lori Bookstein Fine Art.
Opening Reception is from 6:00-8:00pm.

PRESS RELEASE:

Lori Bookstein Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent work by Elena Sisto. This is the artist’s second solo show with the gallery. An illustrated essay by Robert Storr is available.

For this exhibition, Sisto will present a series of new paintings that focus on the artist’s studio and herself. Several works depict iterations of the artist’s own tightly-cropped reflection in a mirror in which she is either answering the telephone, taking a bite of salad or washing her hands. Seemingly captured at some interstitial moment, these paintings attest to the domestic “realities” of studio life. Often times, the bevel of the glass or the frame of the mirror highlight the fact that this is a painting of a reflection and thus the viewer is twice removed from the subject depicted. Indeed, Storr writes of the series: “The compositions of these incomplete self-portraits are jig-saw puzzle tight even as the poses suggest a near loss of control over the items she clutches.  That said Sisto never loses control over the strokes that describe these dense amalgams of body parts and objects. Indeed her relaxed command of every mark, whether broad or relatively precise but always painterly, is a principal source of the pleasures provided us.”

In other paintings, the artist so closely crops the compositions that there seems to be no space at all between the subject and the picture plane. In one particular painting called Etsy Sweater, a view of the artist looking down at her lap depicts hands so large they not only dwarf the tail of the dog she holds, but they seem so enormous as if to crush it. The composition in these compressed views, or “cinematic extreme close-up” as Storr refers to it, “defies expectations – of actual intimacy? of narcissistic self-betrayal? – by concealing far more than it reveals, that is by transforming the body into a mask.”

Elena Sisto (b. 1952) lives and works in New York. She received her BA in Art and Art History from Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design and studied at the New York Studio School. The artist has been included in numerous museum exhibitions including those at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Katonah Museum of Art, and most recently, a traveling exhibition that started at Miami Dade Museum of Art + Design and traveled to the University of Florida, Gainesville. In addition, she was included in the 43rd Biennial of Contemporary American Painting at The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Inglis Griswold Nelson Prize from the National Academy Museum and School, and the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist’s Fellowship. She was inducted into the National Academy Museum in 2015. The artist lives and works in New York.

Elena Sisto: Afternoons will be on view from March 17 – April 23, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 17thfrom 6-8 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. For additional information and/or visual materials, please contact Joseph Bunge at (212) 750-0949 or by email at joseph@loribooksteinfineart.com.

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