Meridel Rubenstein
Eden Turned on its Side: Photosynthesis, Part II
May 20 - June 21, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, May 29, 2015 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Meridel Rubenstein

David Richard Gallery presents a selection of photographs from Meridel Rubenstein’s newest body of work, “Eden Turned On Its Side”, that look at the human spirit and “ecological processes across time that either reinforce or destroy the notion of Eden”. This presentation looks at her newest work in the context of earlier projects that also examine the will of humans and ability of the environment to survive at the intersection of culture and nature.  

Several of Rubenstein’s photographic series throughout her career explored the impact of humans on nature and how the assaults from war and global expansion have created ecological and social imbalances. However, Rubenstein chooses to celebrate the intelligence of nature and its power to regenerate and survive. This presentation looks forward and backward at several examples.   

Rubenstein’s newest body of work, “Eden Turned On Its Side”, is composed of three parts, “Photosynthesis”, “The Volcano Cycle”, and “Eden in Iraq”.  As curator Patricia Levasseur de la Motte states, the work “is not presented as a timeline but as a natural cycle of life, death and rebirth where human beings and nature are deeply connected and exist in true symbiosis.” The first part, “Photosynthesis”, includes images of trees and people exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the seasons, in a post-Edenic and threatened relationship. The second part, “The Volcano Cycle”, explores deep time with images of volcanoes from Indonesia’s Ring of Fire that evoke earth, climate change and human co-evolution. Here the destructive forces of Nature are observed to be regenerative. Selections from parts one and two are presented in this exhibition. The third part, to be presented in 2016 - 2017, “Eden in Iraq”, is set in the marshes of south­ern Iraq, a site said to be very near the presumed original Gar­den of Eden, which currently exists as a manmade desert that is in the process of being restored. The project consists of a wastewater garden and memorial site that aims to transform relics of war and destruction into art and provide a ‘new’ Adam and Eve in the new Eden.

Earlier series from the past 20 years provide a foundation for Rubenstein’s newest work and this presentation includes select artworks from the series: “Critical Mass”, “Oppenheimer's Chair”, “Joan's Arc”, and “Millennial Forest”. “Critical Mass”, a collaborative photo, video and text installation, examined the worlds of scientists and Native Americans as they intersected at the home of Edith Warner during the making of the first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico. In July of 1995, the 50th anniversary of the first atomic test at Trinity in New Mexico, also marked the opening of the first Site Santa Fe Biennial, “Longing and Belonging from the Faraway Nearby”, curated by Bruce Ferguson. As a result of her contributions to “Critical Mass”, Rubenstein was commissioned to mark that date with a new work, “Oppenheimer's Chair”, a multimedia installation comprised of glass, photo, video and steel. Robert Oppenheimer was the lead engineer of the Manhattan Project. Glass studies and photographs resulting from those series are part of the current exhibition. Joan’s Arc examines the human body as a battlefield and a trip to Viet Nam by the artist extended the imagery and concept. The human body and spirit have amazing regenerative qualities. “Millennial Forest” consists of images of ancient trees on two different continents at war: Viet Nam and the US, and begs the question of survival and lessons learned from centuries of war and climate change.

Adam and Eve in La Cienega_ USA Meridel Rubenstein
Adam and Eve in La Cienega, USA
Photography
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle 100 rag watercolor paper
2009-11
32.5 x 64.5 inches
 
Pyroclastic Remains Meridel Rubenstein
Pyroclastic Remains
Photography
Dye-sublimation on prepared aluminum
2012-15
43.5 x 51 inches
 
Summer Cloud Meridel Rubenstein
Summer Cloud
Photography
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle 100 rag watercolor paper
2009-11
43 x 32.75 inches
 
Ocean of the Atmosphere (Winter Cloud) Meridel Rubenstein
Ocean of the Atmosphere (Winter Cloud)
Photography
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle 100 rag watercolor paper
2009-11
45 x 32.75 inches
 
Summer Seasonal Meridel Rubenstein
Summer Seasonal
Photography
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle 100 rag watercolor paper
2009-11
54.2 x 40 inches
 
Fall Equinox (mandala) Meridel Rubenstein
Fall Equinox (mandala)
Photography
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle 100 rag watercolor paper
2009-11
56.5 x 40 inches
 
Spring Equinox_ Pulau Ubin_ Singapore Meridel Rubenstein
Spring Equinox, Pulau Ubin, Singapore
Photography
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle 100 rag watercolor paper
2010-11
34 x 47.8 inches
 
Respiration Meridel Rubenstein
Respiration
Photography
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle 100 rag watercolor paper
2009-11
33.75 x 44 inches
 
Adam and Eve in the S. Iraq Marshes_ near the historic site of the Garden of Eden Meridel Rubenstein
Adam and Eve in the S. Iraq Marshes, near the historic site of the Garden of Eden
Photography
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle 100 rag watercolor paper
2011-12
34 x 65 inches
 
Fall Diptych (Vermont Spotted Maple _ Horizontal Singapore Leaf) Meridel Rubenstein
Fall Diptych (Vermont Spotted Maple & Horizontal Singapore Leaf)
Photography
Vegetable inks on Cansom BFK watercolor paper
2012
38.5 x 18.75 x 2 inches
 
Volcanic Leaf Diptych Meridel Rubenstein
Volcanic Leaf Diptych
Photography
Dye-sublimation on prepared aluminum
2010-15
37 x 27 inches
 
Brocade Meridel Rubenstein
Brocade
Photography
Pre-ambertype: digital inks printed on tree bark paper coated with ground m
2000
45.5 x 91.5 x 1 inches
 
Joan’s Arc _1 (triptych) Meridel Rubenstein
Joan’s Arc #1 (triptych)
Glass
Photo-silkscreen on paper and on glass, sandblasted photo image on glass
1995-96
19.75 x 53.25 x 1.25 inches
 
Ghost House _ Armor Studies Meridel Rubenstein
Ghost House/Armor Studies (triptych)
Glass
Photo sandblasted on glass with shaped painted steel mount
1995-96
15.75 x 48.25 x 1.5 inches
 
Ghost House_Armor Study_ World Tree _1 (negative) Meridel Rubenstein
Ghost House/Armor Study: World Tree #1 (negative)
Glass
Photo sandblasted on glass with shaped painted steel mount
1995-96
15.75 x 11 x 1.5 inches
 
Ghost House_Armor Study_  Snakeskin _2 Meridel Rubenstein
Ghost House/Armor Study: Snakeskin #2
Glass
Photo sandblasted on glass with shaped painted steel mount
1995-96
15.75 x 11 x 1.5 inches
 
Ghost House_Armor Study_ Mail Suit Meridel Rubenstein
Ghost House/Armor Study: Mail Suit
Glass
Photo sandblasted on glass with shaped painted steel mount
1995-96
15.75 x 11 x 1.5 inches
 
Ghost House_Armor Study_ World Tree _2 (pos-rect)” Meridel Rubenstein
Ghost House/Armor Study: World Tree #2 (pos-rect)”
Glass
Photo sandblasted on glass painted steel
1995-96
19.25 x 15 x 1.75 inches
 
The Big Shell _ Brains in Nature Meridel Rubenstein
The Big Shell / Brains in Nature
Photography
Mixed media
1993
181.5 x 55.5 x 2 inches
 
Brains in Nature Meridel Rubenstein
Brains in Nature
Photography
Mixed media
1993
36 x 36 x 6.75 inches
 
Text Meridel Rubenstein
Text
Photography
Palladium print
1993
23.5 x 19.5 inches
 
Negative Cloud Meridel Rubenstein
Negative Cloud
Photography
Palladium print
1993
18.5 x 23.25 inches
 
Positive Cloud Meridel Rubenstein
Positive Cloud
Photography
Palladium print
1993
18.5 x 23.25 x 2 inches
 
The Big Shell Meridel Rubenstein
The Big Shell
Glass
Palladium print
2000
37.25 x 46.75 inches
 
Mount Bromo at Sunrise Meridel Rubenstein
Mount Bromo at Sunrise
Photography
Dye-sublimation on prepared aluminum
2012-15
18.5 x 27 inches
 
Mount Bromo_ Lelani at Dawn Meridel Rubenstein
Mount Bromo, Lelani at Dawn
Photography
Dye-sublimation on prepared aluminum
2012-15
18.5 x 23.5 inches
 
Mount Bromo from Above Meridel Rubenstein
Mount Bromo from Above
Photography
Dye-sublimation on prepared aluminum
2012-15
18.5 x 27 inches
 
Mount Bromo at Night Meridel Rubenstein
Mount Bromo at Night
Photography
Dye-sublimation on prepared aluminum
2012-15
18.5 x 27 inches
 
Mount Bromo Pink Trail Meridel Rubenstein
Mount Bromo Pink Trail
Photography
Dye-sublimation on prepared aluminum
2012-15
18.5 x 27.75 inches
 

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