Esther Podemski

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Work1 Title: Monument Year: 2015 Materials: Oil on wood panel Dimensions: H 20 W 26 D 2 Work2 Title: Thinking of Papova Year: 2015 Materials: Gesso and oil on wood panel Dimensions: H 18 W 24 D 2 Work3 Title: Draftt of a Landscape Year: 2015 Materials: Silkscreen and oil on wood panel Dimensions: H 14 W 18 D 2 Work4 Title: Fold Year: 2015 Materials: Silkscreen and oil on wood panel Dimensions: H 14 W 18 D Work5 Title: Almost an Elephant Year: 2015 Materials: Digital print, water based pigments, ink, colored pencil on paper Dimensions: H 13 W 19 D


Images gleaned from newspapers, snapshots from family albums, Polaroids, stills from my documentary films, as well as direct painting and drawing provide points of departure for these works. The relationship between painting and photography, including the role of painting as a form of contemporary cultural expression, is fundamental to my work. Some imagery is derived from archival footage which has been captured from my own documentary films and synthesized through drawing. I use various media to transform the images and to challenge the widespread belief that photography records a more faithful representation of the world than painting.

This recent work on paper and wood panel is titled The Color Corrections series. The work on paper originated as screen grabs from color corrections of individual frames in my documentary film, The Peasant and the Priest. The source for these images comes from film footage frames of a priest on a Florence street at night; he is ministering to women who have been trafficked to Italy to work as sex slaves. I transform these still frames so that the figures and narrative are no longer visible; the imagery becomes geometric abstraction. In making these works, I first responded to the way a particular frame looked on a computer screen when it interacted with the post-production software. I took screen grabs of these frames and then manipulated the shapes digitally and with water-based pigments to further abstract the image. I think of the paper works as accidental drawings, a kind of digital image still marked by the hand. The works on panel are either painted directly in oil or a combination of silkscreen and oil paint.


2008    ”5 Days in July, a video installation about the Newark Riots of 1967,” Aljira, A Center For Contemporary Art
“5 Days in July,” Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL
2005    ”A History of the Shadow,” Alysia Duckler Gallery, Portland, OR
2004    ”Drawings, A Survey of Drawings, 1999-2004,” Pacific Northwest College of Art, Feldman Gallery, Portland, OR
2001    Alysia Duckler Gallery, Portland, OR
1997    ”The Planets and Other Works,” Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ (catalogue)

2014    New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, “5 days in July” installation, Aljira  Center for Contemporary Art at 30, Dreams And Reality, Trenton NJ
2012    ”Float: Group Exhibition,” Sears Peyton Gallery, New York, NY
“Transport: Works by Henk Pander and Esther Podemski,” Oregon Jewish Museum, Portland, OR
2010    ”Directors Lounge,” Urban research/ The Symbol’s City Life, Berlin, Germany
2008    ”2008 1968: Then and Now: New York University,” Tisch School of the Arts Photography and Imaging Dept, New York, NY (Catalogue)

2014, 2012    Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
2013    Ucross Foundation Residency Fellowship

2008    PRX Zeitfunk Award for rRadio, “5 Days in July,” radio program, Los Angeles, CA
2007     New Jersey Humanities Council Grant for Radio program, “5 Days in July”
2001    New School For Social Research, Parsons School of Design Grant
1999    Distribution Grants, Puffin Foundation, Eastman Foundation, ETC Grants, “House of the World,” NJ, NY
1997    Soros Foundation, Post Production For Documentary Film
1996    Memorial Foundation For Jewish Culture
New York State Council For The Arts, Production Film Grant, “House of the World,” NY
1995    New School For Social Research Faculty Development Grant for Documentary Film, NY
1994    Jerome Foundation
Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
1992, 1996    Oregon Council for the Humanities
1992    New York State Council for the Arts, Painting Grant, Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island University, NY

Place: Brooklyn, New York