These works explore the mutability of the found image. These works dissects and reconstructs architectural forms from antiquity. The miniature tripod-like structures derive from representations of the classical columns and edifices of Ancient Greece and Rome – physical manifestations of the expansion and transmission of power, ideology, and empire. The purpose of a column is to stabilize and support lateral force, absorbing weight and providing equilibrium and stasis. Defects such as crookedness and curvature jeopardize its solidity and strength. The constructions in Bouillon are marked by these deformities - the structures appear unhinged from the ground, excised from a material foundation. These pillars—previous emblems of balance and order—slump with gravity. The coiled appendages appear lop-sided and cobbled together. The forms affirm a sense of unfeasibility in their proportions and assemblage—their impotence as stable architectural formations. On one level, these images suggest the physical erosion of classical ruins – locales of determined conservation yet inevitable decline and decay. Yet the forms create their own internal logic—rather than supporting an exterior arch or beam, the pillars and poles sustain each other. The images suggest dependency—not as a symbol of weakness—but as a sign of collaboration, commitment, and urgency.
Artist Bio / CV
Deborah Karpman’s meticulously-crafted collaged images walk the line between solidity and dissolution. Her work derives from found sources – old, discarded textbooks, architectural diagrams, and field guides. The images are meticulously extracted from their sources and subsequently multiplied, bent, and curved. The resulting formations suggest choreographed animations, momentarily arrested in space but implying unremitting flux and transformation.
Karpman’s work will be on view in November in the exhibition Cut Copy in the Engine Room at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. She is also showing her work at the Lawndale Art Center in Houston in a two-person show titled In and Out of Whack. This past year, her work has been featured in solo shows at ROAM Projects/Second Row Studio in Birmingham, The Charles Harris Gallery in Virginia, and the University of Montevallo.
In the summer of 2010, her work will be exhibited in two-person shows at the Essex Art Center in Massachusetts, the Center for Contemporary Art in Las Vegas, and SCA Contemporary in Albuquerque. Other recent exhibitions include Flower-Power at UMass’s Herter Art Gallery, Paper Explorations at Bridgewater State College, New York/New England/New Talent at Hampden Gallery, and Boston Young Contemporaries in Boston, MA. She was a 2009 nominee for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship and the Dedalus Foundation Fellowship in Painting and Sculpture.
Karpman is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and Co-Director of Foundations at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She received her MFA in 2009 from the University of Massachusetts, and her BA from Colgate University in 2005. She currently lives and works in Birmingham, AL.