November – December, 2015
Robert Miller Gallery
524 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001, US
Shards_Subduction features a selection of photographs from the artist’s project of the same name. The first part of the title refers to Vergara’s process: hunting through old art books for photographs of marble and wood sculptures; tearing the photographs into pieces, isolating areas of deeply carved, often tumultuous drapery; assembling these shards into compositions; and re-assembling and re-photographing the pieces in endless variations, transforming texture and scale in the process. The term subduction is borrowed from geology; it refers to the movements of the edge of one tectonic plate under another, the first sinking into the earth’s mantle as the plates converge. Vergara regards the interplay of the shards’ edges and the powerful implied movement in the draperies as analogous to these subterranean mechanics. The result is abstraction, imbued with the artist’s personal meanings deriving from the represented sculptures themselves, the romance of old photographic illustration, and the ever-present urge to compose.
The arrangement of select works in grid formation serves to heighten the separation of the abstract shards from their bodily origin. The ways that forms variously flow into, support, or abruptly abut within each photograph applies as well to the interaction of multiple photographs within this framework. The grid enhances Vergara’s emphasis on the tensions among flatness, volume, and depth that we see in this body of work. Complicating and reframing what were once historically familiar artworks, her subversive displacement of abstracted forms liberates the works from their origins and extracts entirely new terrains from sculptural bodies.
Virginia Inés Vergara was born and raised in New York. After receiving her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA in photography from Hunter College, she has maintained a studio practice in Harlem. Her work is included in numerous private European and American collections. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include Madrugadas curated by Tim Goossens, Model Theories at fordPROJECT curated by Philip Ording, New York, Dialogues at Tambaran Gallery, NYC.