20 SEPTEMBER - 27 OCTOBER 2002
Ester Partegàs meticulously crafts familiar objects from paper and cardboard and furthers transforms their meanings through extreme shifts in scale. In her installation, to from from at across to in from: the centerless feeling, 2001 Partegàs created a miniature, yet expansive version of an airport lounge in which tiny rows of seats, potted plants and vacant advertisements were juxtaposed with real full-scale objects such as suitcases and coffee cups. Her sculpture Homeless, 1999, is a life-size airplane seat made of Styrofoam, accompanied by various traveler’s objects such as a food tray, laptop computer, copy ofThe New York Times, and a selection of shopping bags. These works embody a theme to which Partegàs consistently returns: the sense of alienation and rootlessness felt by many people in today’s consumer-oriented society.
Partegàs continues this investigation at Rice Gallery in Samesation, a built environment that alludes to issues of consumerism and urban design. “Sameness” is increasingly the norm; cities become shopping plazas and begin to look identical, making it harder, says Partegàs for us to differentiate, to individualize.” Public spaces are redefined as places to reach the consumer, and the placement of objects subtly conveys the message to “keep moving.” In Samesation Partegàs will create a city plaza within the confines of the gallery, made completely of mat board and paper. Visitors may feel they have entered a giant’s world as they encounter larger-than-life elements such as trees and ATM machines, conceived, Partegàs says, to spur reflection on “how this type of environment is dramatically affecting our relation with the outside and ultimately with ourselves.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ester Partegàs was born in La Garriga, (Barcelona) and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She received a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona in 1996 and a BA in Multimedia Art from the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin in 1998. Group exhibitions include Outer City Inner Space at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, 2002; Temporary Residents, MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, New York, 2001; andEscenarios, Sala Amadís, Madrid, 2000. Ester Partegàs is represented by De Chiara Gallery, New York, where she has had two solo exhibitions.