Hinge Pictures

Eight Women Artists Occupy the Third Dimension

Andrea Andersson (Editor)

Sarah Crowner, Julia Dault, Leslie Hewitt, Tomashi Jackson, Erin Shirreff, Ulla von Brandenburg, Adriana Varejão, and Claudia Wieser

“Perhaps make a hinge picture,” begins one of the ninety-four notes in Marcel Duchamp’s 1934 portfolio The Green Box. The suggestion presents a contradiction: an image, neither painting nor sculpture, that is fixed in one plane but free to move in another, swinging into space. Installed across eight galleries, one per artist, this exhibition features more than fifty new and recent predominantly abstract works whose ambiguous, hybrid nature honors Duchamp’s “principle of the hinge.” The pieces on view—including Leslie Hewitt’s photo-sculptures, Erin Shirreff’s dye sublimations, and Sarah Crowner’s curved paintings—translate the weighty vocabulary of European modernism into a new, multi-vocal language of contemporary abstraction.”

— Valentina Sarmiento Cruz in ARTFORUM (January 2019)

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In 1960 George Heard Hamilton published the first complete typographic translation of Duchamp’s The Green Box in English. A trade edition of 1000 copies, the landmark publication circulated and translated Duchamp’s notes and conceptual ambitions for his three-dimensional masterwork, The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even. And as a book, designed to hinge at its binding, the work fulfilled Duchamp’s conceptual proposal for art that would move from two into three dimensional space.

Hinge Pictures: Eight Women Artists Occupy the Third Dimension is an artist’s book in eight parts—a gorgeous, palimpsestual publication that layers the practices of Sarah Crowner, Julia Dault, Leslie Hewitt, Tomashi Jackson, Erin Shirreff, Ulla von Brandenburg, Adriana Varejão, and Claudia Wieser over the pages, history, and framework of Duchamp’s imagination. With a swiss binding that unveils the spine of the book, and multiple vellum overlays that create layered interlocutions, the book’s physical qualities mirror its conceptual occupations. It is the third collaborative project between Siglio and CAC. The first two were single-authored artist’s books: Becoming Imperceptible by Adam Pendleton and About to Happen by Cecilia Vicuña.

Hinge Pictures: Eight Women Artists Occupy the Third Dimension is also companion publication to an exhibition (March 14−June 16) in eight parts, a confrontation with the patrimony of European modernism in the practices of eight leading artists. A literal reading of Duchamp positions The Bride, a nude woman, suspended above a host of ogling bachelors. In his writing, Duchamp narrates both social and physical constraint (“The Bride accepts this stripping”) and formal liberation (“discover true form . . . develop the principle of the hinge.”). The artists of Hinge Pictures use formal constraint—a commitment to abstraction—in a demonstration of social liberation. Theirs is a knowing, deconstructed rehearsal of form and color, weighted by the errors, limits, and categorical proscriptions of transatlantic Modernism.