In her newest exhibition at Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Jean Lowe continues her playful investigation of what separates the valueless from the rarified through an elevated presentation of ephemera. Here, in Lowe’s exhibition which is wrought with her usual humor and irony, the two East galleries are transformed into the suggestion of one of the most significant forces in which the worth of an object is formed: the auction house.
The main gallery features oversized “pages” from the catalogues of both an ephemera and manuscript auction. Antique letters, snake oil ads of modern day products, obsolete phonebooks, expired driver’s licenses and other commonplace items are presented as if for auction, creating a stage for a musing on vanity, change, and the passage of time. The second East gallery features various imagined catalogue covers (Fine Americana, Contemporary Photography, Old Master Paintings, etc.), and a display of related lots.
The West gallery will house an installation of a library with a digitalized rendering of the papier-mache books Lowe has been fabricating since 1994. Loosely modeled on the iBookstore format, this categorized library, with sections ranging from Food and Wine to Religion and Spirituality, comments on various aspects of contemporary culture.
While not without actual painting and sculpture, this new body of work is largely print based and text dependent. Collage, re-realized painting and sculpture, digitally generated imagery and found objects are stewed together on low boil.
In her representation of the auction arena, Lowe comments on today’s notion of value itself: what it is, how it is constructed, of what and by whom.