Danica Phelps: This Time Last Year
Jun 21 - Jul 26, 2008
Danica Phelps: This Time Last Year

Danica Phelps: This Time Last Year

Ritter/Zamet is pleased to present This Time Last Year, the second solo exhibition at the gallery by New York artist Danica Phelps.

The indistinguishably intertwined realms of Danica Phelps’ art and life lie in a state of flux. As she looks forward to the birth of her first child, she has been reflecting on the essential aspects of her life and material output as an artist and has spent the last several months systematically stripping down, purging or transforming her artworks into both reflections on the past and fresh visions for the future. Recent ongoing projects including the “stripe factory” have seen the redefinition of her trademark stripe pieces (where each single stripe painted represented a single incoming or outgoing dollar of her day-to-day financial transactions) by removing her personal experience and focusing instead on the process itself. This has involved delegating the stripe painting to a team of assistants in order to document a given number of single dollar stripes in a variety of formats as commissioned by the collector.

At the same time she has been phasing out her obsessive daily list-making as she describes: “I have been writing down everything I do and spend money on every day for about 10 years. I made my last list on January 24, 2007. I found that it made me too sad to look back on my life at that point and reflect on it in such detail. Instead, I would rather remember and record with a more selective memory.” One result of this – as seen in her current exhibition at Zach Feuer Gallery, New York – presents a pile of three-dimensional renditions of all the individual letters drawn from her last ever list fabricated from 4 months of hoarded trash from her studio.  From amongst the jumble, a few recognizable words appear that gently hint at some of the reasons why she stopped writing the lists.

Her exhibition here in London titled This Time Last Year presents a new means to record and preserve time while at the same time maintaining the insightful and often deeply personal aspects of her art making.  The greater part of the show includes a 60 ft frieze-like drawing that wraps around all the walls of the gallery space recording her travels last June and July 2007. This begins at Basel with the last minute completion of the largest stripe-panel artwork she ever made (3 grey-striped panels documenting the $627,000 owed to the bank for her mortgage) and follows her subsequent European ‘Grand Tour’ to Kassel (for Documenta 12), Münster (for the Münster Sculpture Project), to Berlin, to Venice (for the Biennale) and then back to Berlin for an exhibition opening. The drawings morph from one part of the trip to another as the viewer moves through time and space merging architectural spaces with artworks and people encountered along the way. Lines are often layered and over-drawn to insinuate action, the passing of time and the flickering of emotions that animate a human figure from one moment to the next.  

Continuing her ongoing interactive relationship with her collectors, the viewer will be able to choose the frame/composition of the drawing they would like to purchase (in sizes of either 1 or 2 ft widths or larger on request) and at the end of the show, the drawing will be cut and dispersed accordingly.