Page 1

DEBRA HAMPTON Emblems of Empire

November 18th 2011 – January 7th 2012


“hooked up�/ Magazine cut out, adhesive and ink on paper mounted on panel/122 x 91 cm/2011


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 2/3

EMBLEMS OF EMPIRE When I was introduced to Debra Hampton’s work nearly two years ago, her puzzling universe immediately fascinated me. I was in a gallery at that time to see her solo exhibition, ”Twenty Paces” – this particular exhibition is still imprinted on my mind. The finicky, sharp collages opened up a new world to me, and I quickly learned that I had discovered something quite unique. In other words, my trip to New York was already a success. Debra Hampton’s universe is sparkling and glamorous but at the same time threatening, dark, and decadent. She reflects an age that seems to be disintegrating, where the constant search for material objects such as jewellery, watches, fur coats, cars, and motor bikes cannot give us the liberation we are searching for. A search that leaves many of Debra Hampton’s characters hollow and with a vacant expression in their eyes. The works tell our historic need to hide behind facades. In the old days the knights wore armor to protect themselves in battle; today the armor is replaced with the fashion and advertising industry’s flawless ideals.

With her new still life works, Debra Hampton experiments with some of art history’s oldest themes and relaunches them in her own modern universe of resolution and decay. The bouquet of flowers in Debra Hampton’s world is filled with gold, diamonds, and fashion motifs. Everything looks beautiful and decent on the surface, yet one feels the threatening side lurking beneath. Its a special joy for me to introduce an artist who brings collage into the 21st century with such a sublime execution that her works can be found in the prominent collections of the MoMA in New York and Trienberg Holdings in Austria.

Enjoy Morten Poulsen November 2011

Morten Poulsen


KALEIDOSCOPIC BOMBARDMENT The characters populating Debra Hampton’s powerful and striking collages on panel seem to emerge in the studio like magical creatures from the great beyond, at once revealing the kaleidoscopic bombardment of the artist’s psyche by the visual language of the information age, and manifesting possibilities for the inevitable and inexorable evolution of humanity. The works are made up of appropriated materials from magazines and other print resources, painstakingly spattered, inked, outlined, and layered, using a dizzying array of references ranging from cosmetics, fashion, and pornography to machines, technology, and weapons. Hampton employs an exacto knife like a scalpel, slicing away unnecessary elements and achieving remarkable transformations, whereby her disparate source images unfold and grow almost organically into a cohesive new whole. It is tempting to compare her procedure to cosmetic surgery, particularly as she often draws on the falsely perfect imagery of fashion and advertising, but the results, in physical as well as conceptual terms, are additive rather than subtractive, and are decidedly more meaningful. The works bear microscopic examination, and richly reward the attentive viewer. [A] shifting identification of images is intensified by the viewer moving toward and away from the work, and by the formal strategy Hampton uses of allowing radical and sudden changes in scale between the printed images within her collages. The disorienting effect is one way in which she encourages varied and complex evaluations of meaning by her audience. This disorientation does not, however, prevent a number of themes from emerging. The melding of animal and mechanical, of flesh and metal, is echoed in her process, which unites handmade gesture with appropriated material. Hampton turns this usual nature/technology, good/ evil dichotomy on its head. Her women are not constrained to play predictable roles, rather their development of mechanical appendages seems to be the result of evolution.

They have transformed themselves in response to an ever more mechanized and technologically-driven environment, even to the point of integrating technology into their bodies. The figures in the collages seem strangely uninhabited by personalities, their blank eyes rendering the faces mask-like. Thus they can hide the wearer, empower them, or allow them to willingly adopt an alternate identity. Are we meant to imagine ourselves wearing these masks, hybrid but capable creatures bravely facing the future? Or is there another meaning hidden within? As much as the masks are identity-changers, they also suggest “tribal” readings, where they might work as the ceremonial costumes of shamans bridging the gap to a world closed to most of us. Perhaps the most inspiring way to see Hampton’s works might be as relics and icons from the future. Elizabeth Grady, 2010


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 4/5

“fortune’s roulette”/Magazine cut out, adhesive, watercolor and ink on paper mounted on panel/122 x 91 cm/2011


‘the figures in the collages seem strangely uninhabited by personalities’ Elizabeth Grady, 2010


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 6/7

“OUTLAST”/Magazine cut out, adhesive, and ink on paper mounted on panel/122 x 91 cm/2011


“emblems of empire (diptych)�/ Magazine cut out, archival print, adhesive, and ink on paper mounted on panel/178 x 229 cm/2011


“Meta Turbo Cosmic Promenade�/Magazine cut out, adhesive and ink on paper/44 x 36 cm/2011


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 10/11

“Queen of the Higher Chase”/ Magazine cut out, adhesive, watercolor and ink on paper/76 x 57 cm/2011


“star struck�/ Magazine cut out, adhesive and ink on paper mounted on panel/51 x 41 cm/2011


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 12/13

‘My works are an exploration into the contradictions of our times’ Debra Hampton, 2010


“Large Still Life with Timepiece, Broken Crown Brooch, and Snak


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 14/15

keskin High Heels�/Magazine cut out, archival prints, adhesive, and ink on paper mounted on panel/91 x 122 cm/2011


‘we are offered an opportunity to reflect on our daily experience on a deeper and sometimes more troubling level’ Debra Hampton, 2010


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 16/17

“Still Life with Rifle and Syringe”/Magazine cut out, archival prints, adhesive and ink on paper mounted on panel/71 x 51 cm/2011


“Still Life with Gold Bracelets, Timepiece and Metal Pipe�/Magazine cut out, archival prints, adhesive and ink on paper mounted on panel/71 x 51 cm/2011


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 18/19

“Floating Blue Still Life”/Magazine cut out, archival prints, adhesive and ink on paper mounted on panel/71 x 51 cm/2011


“Vase of Orange and Yellow Bouquets�/ Magazine cut out, archival prints, adhesive and ink on paper mounted on panel/71 x 51 cm/2011


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 20/21

using present day iconography and unorthodox technique hampton takes the genre to the next level


Gallery Poulsen is pleased to present a solo exhibition of acclaimed New York-based artist Debra Hampton. Entitled Emblems of Empire, the exhibition is the artist’s first international solo exhibition and features new collages on panel. At a time when we are bombarded daily with the impossible task of filtering and decoding an onslaught of visual information from every social and material facet of our lives, Debra Hampton’s frenetic collages seem the perfect fusion of creative output and cultural commentary. Her subjects, meticulously assembled from thousands of cut-up advertisements, capture the conceptual and literal essence of a frenzied and transformative culture on the brink of constant destruction and rebirth. In each work, Hampton includes modern-day emblems of power by appropriating imagery from fashion magazines, order-by-mail catalogs, and anthologies of patriotic keepsakes all of which represent society’s most coveted and desirable objects. The casual viewer is rewarded with a dizzying selection of symbolic images sliced up almost beyond recognition—dissected beauty products, flying motorcycle wheels, exploding bullets, youthful bodies, wooden rifles, gold chains, splattered ink and hand-drawn organic shapes—while patient appreciation reveals the emotional and conceptual tenor of the juxtapositions. These elements under the scrutiny of Hampton ultimately culminate in lusciously dark and powerful female forms who appear at once heroine and victim of their materialistic obsessions. Along with a special two-panel double portrait diptych which is her largest piece to date, the exhibition also unveils an exciting development in Hampton’s work, a new series of still lifes. Having long been intrigued by

the use of codes, hidden meaning, and layered symbolism throughout art history, Hampton’s experimentation in this revered tradition seems like a natural evolution. These playful and richly textured works pay homage to their forerunners and contain the emblematic counterparts used to imply morality, excess and decay but with an undeniably contemporary twist. Using present day iconography and unorthodox technique Hampton takes the genre to the next level. Debra Hampton was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles and currently lives and works in New York. She holds a B.A. in Art History from California State University at Fullerton and an M.A. from New York University. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad including the National Academy of Art, NY; Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; Queens Museum, NY; Priska Juschka Fine Art, NY; as well as art fairs in Paris, London, Berlin, New York and Miami. Her work belongs to several prominent collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Frederick R. Weisman Foundation in California, and Trierenberg Holdings in Austria.


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 22/23

“discomedusae”/ Magazine cut out, archival prints, adhesive, and ink on paper mounted on panel/122 x 91 cm/2011


“Purdy girl�/Magazine cut out, adhesive and ink on paper mounted on panel/51 x 41 cm/2011


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 24/25

“Gemini 81, After the Wind”/Magazine cut out, adhesive and ink on paper/44 x 36 cm/2011


CV AND EXHIBITIONS 2003 STREAMLINE, Project Room at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY

DEBRA HAMPTON Born in Fullerton, CA Lives and works in New York, NY

SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2011 Emblems of Empire, Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen The Museum of Arts & Culture, New Rochelle, NY 2010 Twenty Paces, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, NY

2001 <CONTENT=”null”>, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

2005 New Art. New York: Reflections on the Human Condition, Trierenberg Holding, Traun, Austria

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

Kiss me Long and Hard, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, NY

2011 Bitches Brew, New Art from New York (part 2), Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen

Group Exhibition, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia

2010 Gallery Poulsen Christmas Show, Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen

2004 Is One Thing Better Than Another? Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Koln, Germany

Elements of Nature: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, curated by Billie Milam Weisman, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA

On Site, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY

2009 Reconfiguring American Art, National Academy Museum, New York 2008 Warm, Red, Salt And Wet, 31 Grand, New York, NY “The History Show,” A.I.R. Gallery, Curated by Carey Lovelace and Kat Griefen, New York, NY 2007 Femme Fantastique, Volitant Gallery, Austin, TX Love’s Secret Domain, 3rd Ward, Brooklyn, NY

2006 Monsters and Maidens: Works on Paper and Construction, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, NY

YMCA Benefit Art Auction, Curated by Elizabeth Grady and Christian Viveros-Faune, NY

2006 Queens International 2006: Everything All at Once, Queens Museum, Queens, NY

Pickup Lines, Geoffrey Young Gallery, MA 2003 Harlem Art Project, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, NY Breaking Ground, White Columns, New York, NY 5th Biennial, juried by Shamim Momin, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY

BIBLIOGRAPHY 2010 “Debra Hampton Turns Heads with Neon Stencils on Brooklyn Bridge Park Bike Lane Barriers,” Benjamin Sutton, The L Magazine “An Artist... can change a place,” Sarah Goodyear, Grist


DEBRA HAMPTON / NOVEMBER 2011 / PAGE 26/27

“Public Art by Artist Debra Hampton on Furman Street,” Dumbo NYC

“Debra Hampton at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art,” Joel Simpson, New York Art World

Visiting Artist, Visual & Critical Studies, Professor Tom Huhn, School of Visual Arts, NY

“Jersey Barrier Art to Spruce Up NYC,” Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation

“New Art, New York: Reflections on the Human Condition,” by Margaret Mathews-Berenson

2010 Artist Gallery Lecture, Chelsea Art Museum Young Associates

“In the Eye of the Consumer,” Fall, NY Arts Magazine 


2004 “Sampling Brooklyn, Keeper of Eclectic Flames” by Holland Cotter, New York Times

Gallery Lecture for School of Visual Arts students, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, NY

“Tips & Picks,” June, NY Arts Magazine “Today’s Woman,” Lotus Editions (blog review) “Twenty Paces,” Look Into My Owl (blog review) 2009 Compass In Hand, Museum of Modern Art [catalogue]

2003 “Breaking Ground” Timeout, New York 2001 “Critic’s Picks” by Holland Cotter, New York Times

2009 “Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820–2009,” Guest Panelist, National Academy of Art, NY 2008 Long Island City Studio Tour with Lowell Pettit

2005 Chashama Studio A.R.E.A. Program, New York

2007 Future-Minded: On the resiliency of Feminism in the arts, Guest Panelist, College Art Association, NY

“Femme Fantastique,” Chad Hana, That Other Paper

1999-2001 Fellowship Artist, AIR Gallery, New York

Visual Culture Seminar, Guest Speaker, SUNY Purchase, NY

“Fall Preview 2007,” Glasstire: Texas Visual Art Online

2000 Presentation Funds for E.mergence from Experimental Television Center

Studio Lecture, The New York Contemporary Art World, School of Visual Arts, NY

2000 Exhibition Grant for E.mergence from Louise McCagg & Jessie Nebraska Gifford

COLLECTIONS

“Love’s Secret Domain,” AM New York Editorial spotlight, Etapes, pg 2-4

PUBLIC ART

Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, CA

“Queens International: Everything All at Once”, Kate Lowenstein, Time Out NY

2010 Jersey Barrier Initiative, Urban Art Program, Department of Transportation, NY

Trierenberg Holding AG Corporate Art Collection, Austria

2007 “Femme Fantastique,” Salvador Castillo, The Austin Chronicle

“Deviant Artist of the Day: Debra Hampton,” John Brownlee, Wired Blog Network “Love’s Secret Domain: Contemporary Psychedelic Art & Music,” Flavorpill NYC

2006 “qboro—Day Tripping at ‘Queens International’,” by Jennifer Manley, Queens Chronicle Queens International 2006, Essay by Jaishri Abichandani “Review: Debra Hampton: Monsters and Maidens,” James Westcott, Art Review

GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 2011 Special Advisory Board, Urban Art Program, Department of Transportation, NY Visiting Artist, New Rochelle High School, NY

Museum of Modern Art Permanent Drawing Collection, NY


FlÌsketorvet 24 - København V +45 40 15 55 88 / +45 33 33 93 96 info@gallerypoulsen.com / www.gallerypoulsen.com

Debra Hampton Catalogue  

The characters populating Debra Hampton’s powerful and striking collages on panel seem to emerge in the studio like magical creatures from t...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you