Sarah Bird : the fullest measure of you, is you
Feb 3 — Mar 30, 2017
Check gallery website for hours and additional info
Exhibition dates: February 3 – March 30, 2017
Preview and Artist Talk: Thursday, February 2, 6-7:30 pm
Moderated by Lucía Sanromán, Visual Arts Director, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Opening Reception: Friday, February 3, 6-8 pm
First Friday Reception: Friday, March 3, 6-8 pm
Chandra Cerrito Contemporary is pleased to announce “the fullest measure of you, is you” February 3 through March 30, 2017. Sarah Bird’s solo exhibition features life-size black and white photographic portraits of giant California redwoods, equating their significance – or as she says, “their magnificent equal footing, and their essential role in our web of being” – to that of human subjects. Her stylistic inspiration came from the German photographer August Sander’s early 20th century portraits, which were particularly radical during the Weimar Republic and Nazism for their egalitarian portrayals of a range of social classes and ethnicities. Bird presents coastal redwood trees as majestic yet vulnerable subjects worthy of documentation and extended observation. Oversize prints show in detail their creviced barks, imposing girths and surprisingly shallow root systems.
Bird incorporates sculptural elements and drawings that relate to the photographic images. An almost nine feet wide, suspended steel ring conveys in a physical way the massive diameter of the tree depicted in a corresponding photograph. On the surface of another print are sewn “roots” that leave trails of thread to pool on the floor below, connecting its subject to the gallery space. Downpour, the only work that does not involve photography, is an installation made entirely of thread and straight pins suspended in a column from the ceiling. The result conjures misty rain, but in context of this exhibition it also reads like an ethereal tree trunk.
Image: Sarah Bird, California Bay Laurel Portrait, 2017, archival inkjet photograph on kozo paper, edition of 7 plus AP, 30 x 45″, Courtesy of the Artist and Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, Oakland