Leah Yerpe: Stellify
January 9 - February 11, 2015 Opening reception January 9, 6 - 8PM
Dillon Gallery is pleased to announce Leah Yerpe’s solo exhibition, “Stellify.” This exhibition will comprise of Yerpe’s large-scale drawings of figures appearing to move across the frame in various positions—twisting, turning, colliding, and falling. The multiplied figures in each drawing represent one model having free reign to move in an immediate, improvised dance. Yerpe's drawings demonstrate the artist's exceptional ability to unite line and light to compose a visually arresting experience.
Stellify means "to change or be changed into a star." Creation myths of nearly every ancient civilization include stories of humans transformed into constellations. Some of these transformations were acts of mercy, some of honor, and others of terrible punishment. The drawings in this exhibition are inspired by the persistent relevance of these ancient myths, prevailing over time to articulate collective values and experience.
While the bodies seem to move fluidly, Yerpe's drawing process is lengthy and painstaking, every detail and gesture having great significance. This adds to the sense of tension already present in the work as the figures seem to push and pull against each other, in a process of transformation, forming a constellation on the paper's surface. In Corvus (2013), the female portrayed appears to be both entangled within and emerging out of bent and stretched out limbs. Coupled with her serene yet ethereal facial expression, it is as if the viewer is witnessing her at a point of a remarkable metamorphosis. Intertwined and burgeoning out from an unknown center and source, the site is absolutely alluring, raising the human figure above and beyond commonplace existence and potential.
Named by Artnet recently as an "up-and-comer," Leah Yerpe's work has been on the cover of New York Magazine, featured in Nylon, among others. Leah Yerpe was born and raised in Cattaraugus County, New York, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn.