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Valerie Snobeck I Residency from May to July 2018

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Valerie Snobeck's sculptural practice uses the modes of entropy, loss, accumulation and displacement as if they were techniques. The work is a diagram within the correlation between natural environment and synthetic material culture. Snobeck’s imagery and materials are layered into one another: plastic, tar, burlap, denim, Depression Era glassware, measures for repairing movement in wristwatches, twenty-first century inkjet printing and cardboard shipping containers are soaked in a previous era’s recession and oil crises. Her work constructs a framework through which to gauge the impacts and co-dependency of a range of political, economic and aesthetic concerns.
Combining antiquated found objects with those built in the studio, the vernacular with the refined, the natural with the artificial, Snobeck uses physical processes of turning one object into another with concrete and metaphoric results. The work is part sculpture, part process, part undoing, part culture, and part detritus. It is never stabilised, neither physically nor categorically. Recalling the paradox of Theseus’ ship, Snobeck’s Depression glass sculptures ask whether a pitcher, which has been cut, then re-moulded and inverted, is still the same pitcher. She alienates materials from their conventionally designated purpose and works in processes of translation – across surfaces, industries and time. This task is manifested in the peeled prints on plastic whereby a residual image is physically peeled from one support onto another. The works are selected moments in a sequence of transfers, wherein information passes through and takes on the shape of a hosting armature.

In the partially erased mirrors this process of simultaneous disintegration and accumulation is heightened. The layers of paint and metal on mirrors are deposed and become windows through which to see. Netting used to catch falling debris at construction sites is wrapped taut around a structure, forming a permeable membrane where a canvas might normally be. In the peeled prints on plastic, inks distributed by a printer are immigrated from an absorbent host (paper) to an unnatural terrain (plastic). The diaspora of their resolution is partially lost with each translation. As a series of screens - the veil of the netting, the glass window of the mirror, the semi-transparent surface of the plastic - these structures function as lenses by which to apprehend the work and the world it contains, the world containing it.

Valerie Snobeck was born 1980 in Wadena, Minnesota, and currently lives and works in New York. She received anMFA from the University of Chicago and a BFA from St. Cloud University. In November 2018 she will be the subject of a major solo exhibition at Le Consortium, Dijon, France, following a residency at the Atelier Calder, Saché, France in the summer.
She has been awarded residencies at Fondation Galeries Lafayette, Paris, France (2014) and The Harveyville Project, Harveyville, KS (2006), and was awarded a Teaching Fellowship at The University of Chicago (2008). She has had numerous solo exhibitions worldwide including at Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong (2016), ESSEX STREET, New York, NY (2015), Wallriss Kunstraum, Fribourg, Switzerland (2015), Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2014), Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels, Belgium (2013), Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2012), Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2012), The University of Delaware, Newark, DE (2011), 8 Rue St.Bon, Paris, France (2010) and DOVA Temporary, Chicago, IL (2009). Group exhibitions include Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (2015), Fondation Lafayette, Paris, France (2014), Centre National Edition Art Image, Paris, France (2014), DEPART Foundation, American Academy, Rome, Italy (2013), Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands (2013) and The Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY (2011). Snobeck participated in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY and Basel Parcours, Basel, Switzerland in 2013.

(Text Simon Lee Gallery)

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