Hammer Museum

Shannon Ebner

16 Jul - 23 Oct 2011

© Shannon Ebner
Incendiary Distress Signals, 2011
Type “C” prints
31 1⁄2 x 24 in. (80 cm x 61 cm) each.
Courtesy of the artist and Wallspace, NY; Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco; kaufmann repetto, Milan.
16 July - 23 October, 2011

Los Angeles-based artist Shannon Ebner’s work investigates the correlations between photography and language. Working with photography and sculpture, she inscribes the visual grammar of photography and the signifying role of language with a distinct materiality. Informed by various modes of writing—including poetry, experimental writing, and political speech—Ebner constructs images in the studio and the landscape. Ebner builds phrases—some brief and others complex—out of vernacular materials such as cardboard, cinder blocks, and most recently the ashes leftover from emergency road flares and calls our attention to the way language and imagery is both constructed and real. For her Hammer Project, she will exhibit a portion of a larger on-going project called “The Electric Comma.” For Ebner, given that a sentence is a grammatical unit of language, a photographic sentence is comprised of “units” of images with the understanding that words are pictures and pictures can also be words. A portion of this photographic sentence will be exhibited in Gallery 6 on our courtyard level, and the project will continue outside the gallery with a new piece made specifically for the light boxes leading to the theater. Running concurrently with her Hammer Project, Ebner will have works on display at LAXART as well as a photovoltaic public sculpture (photovoltaics is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors) in Culver City titled and, per se and. While the sculpture will reside outside the discreet exhibition spaces of the Hammer and LAXART, it is in many ways the organizing principle of all of the works on display as it acts an electrical signaling sign for what lies inside and outside the images and the ideas that the work seeks to address.

Organized by Anne Ellegood, Hammer senior curator.

Shannon Ebner was born in Englewood, New Jersey in 1971 and lives and works in Los Angeles. She earned her BA from Bard College in 1993 and her MFA from Yale University in 2000 and she currently teaches at USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts. Solo exhibitions include Kaufmann Repetto, Milan (2010); Altman Siegel, San Francisco (2010); Wallspace, New York (2009, 2007, 2005); P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2007). Selected group exhibitions include The Spectacular of Vernacular, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2011); the 6th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2010); Saints and Sinners, The Rose Art Museum, Waltham (2009); The 2008 Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London (2007); Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millennium, Serpentine Gallery, London (2006); The California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach (2006); The Plain of Heaven, Creative Time, New York (2005); and Monuments for the USA, CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco. She will be included in the 2011 Venice Biennale this summer. This will be Ebner’s first museum solo show on the West Coast.

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