INDIRA CESARINE - THE LABYRINTH Exhibition @ The Untitled Space

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The Untitled Space is pleased to present “THE LABYRINTH,” an installation and exhibition of works by artist Indira Cesarine featuring photography, video, painting, and sculpture, as well as a series of performances inspired by the artwork. The exhibition will open with an artist reception on March 12, 2020 featuring a special performance by renowned modern dancer and performance artist Katherine Crockett, and will be on view through May 30th. For “THE LABYRINTH” Cesarine has created an immersive installation, transforming the gallery into a maze through which viewers can experience her contemporary female gaze on Surrealism, a theme the artist has been exploring through a variety of mediums over the past several decades. “THE LABYRINTH” is a surreal odyssey that reveals through its passages a kaleidoscopic universe of subconscious realities bound by the contrasts of hyperrealism and ethereal symbolism. Cesarine leads the viewer through this maze of discoveries, presenting works that are deeply personal and equally created in response to the influence of Surrealists including Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, and Dora Maar. “THE LABYRINTH” explores the juxtaposition of contrasting opposites, dimension, distortion, and the power of light to engage and reflect on our own stream of subconscious while provoking the tangibility of perceived realities. The result is a journey through our fantasies and expectations, rendered through the lens of dreams and desires. The juxtaposition of Cesarine’s macro and kaleidoscopic florals created for “THE LABYRINTH” play in sharp contrast to the visual yin yang of her surreal portraits of women that explore female sensuality and identity. Through the lens of fantasy and illusion, she toys with imagery of the subconscious mind, depicting the human form with power and subjectivity. Hands and faces intertwine in a reverie that is part real, part illusion. Sculptural hands project from the walls of the installation as though coming alive, part human, part sculpture, in a manner that is both seductive and haunting. Video art, including a 2020 remix of her film “The Spell” which was featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, adds to the visual poetry and experience of the maze. Her use of symbolism and dramatic chiaroscuro conveys emotionally charged imagery that presents both an escape into fantasy and a journey through our unattainable desires. As one walks through “THE LABYRINTH,” there is a sense of being lost in time as kaleidoscopic images come alive off the walls. Mirrors positioned throughout the installation emphasize our own reflections while exploring the surreal landscape of the artworks on display. “THE LABYRINTH” exhibition and installation features Cesarine’s most recent body of work, as well as select works from her “Goddess”, “Les Fleurs du Mal”, “Pandora’s Box” and “ONLY YOU” series. Cesarine’s “Goddess” series, featuring dancer Katherine Crockett, presents emotive images of the female form juxtaposed with detailed florals, creating surreal portraits that according to the artist, emphasize the graceful strength of Mother Earth as a goddess and the power of nature. “Les Fleurs du Mal” welded steel sculpture series reflects on the emotional impact and symbolism of flowers. The depiction of flowers, whether as a still life, as part of a photographic composition, or in the form of a 3 dimensional sculpture has been an ongoing theme in Cesarine’s artwork dating back to her early photography series shot on medium format film in the 1990s. Also featured in the “THE LABYRINTH” are a selection of photography and video art from her “ONLY YOU” series, which focuses on the eyes as an emotional portal. Works from her “ONLY YOU” series have been previously exhibited at Cannes Film Festival, Art Basel Miami, SCOPE Basel, Switzerland, CICA Museum (South Korea), Red Bull Studios (London), and Norwood Arts Club, New York.

Iyanna and the Leaves No 1, 2020

ARTIST STATEMENT “Empowering feminist themes are often a point of departure for my multi-sensory series. My work questions the place of humanity in context with contemporary civilization and is often influenced by autobiographical content and women’s history at large. I connect with thematic subject matter that engages a narrative of social discourse and art activism. As a multi-disciplinarian artist, I often work across several mediums such as photography, video, sculpture, painting and printmaking to convey a rich and diverse narrative. Through my exhibitions and artwork, I challenge the status quo, as well as tackle stereotypes and double standards. I draw from historical narratives in an effort to create empowering artwork that can have an impact on the viewer, be a catalyst for change or provide insight into history, which may have been overlooked. As an artist, I find it is more effective to communicate my ideas through visual and sensory explorations that can uniquely address the world we live in today. I have been exploring themes of Surrealism in my work since my very first forays into photography back in the late 80’s. Experimental darkroom techniques such as solarization and double exposures have played an important part of my visual narrative, which also often employs nuances of fractured light. While studying for my degree in art history at Columbia University in Paris I became very interested in the history of Surrealism, and wrote a 30 page paper, “Surréalisme, Sexualité, et La Femme,” on the male gaze and misogyny of many of the original Surrealists. Presenting an empowering female perspective on images of women has always been an important part of my work. Explorations of female identity, sexuality, dreams and desires have been returning themes in my artwork since I first started creating. In the early 2000s, I expanded from the still frame and works on canvas and paper to moving images, with experimental filmmaking and video art. As my work has evolved, I have become inspired by creating 3 dimensional works in glass and steel that further propel my visual language. My sculptures explore themes of female identity, symbolism and experience, employing a technical emphasis on light and reflection, often combining figurative sculpture with neon or video display to further engage a multifaceted experience. In several of my recent works featured in “THE LABYRINTH” I explore surreal techniques of “light painting” that were invented by Man Ray in 1937, which I have juxtaposed with dramatic chiaroscurist portraits of women in order to evoke an ethereal universe of light and energy. I also find myself returning to the visual language of flowers – as a representation of women’s sexuality, as well as emotional expression of love, forgiveness, sorrow, and hope. Throughout history, flowers have been ripe with symbolism, with each blossom or arrangement having different meanings. The language of flowers dates back many centuries, and they were often used to send secret messages to lovers. For me the flower can be alluring, mysterious, sensual and full of emotions that are difficult to express with words. There is also something intrinsically female about flower blossoms and their visual reference to a women’s body that resonates with me as an artist. It has been inspiring to bring together multiple aspects of my creative process into one exhibition, with “THE LABYRINTH” featuring many varied artistic mediums that become unified through the installation of the maze. I conceived of the maze concept for an exhibition and installation a few years ago after my father passed away. This exhibition is inspired by the maze of life, the power of human connection, emotion and experience – combined with the surreal nature of the unknown.”

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY Indira Cesarine is a multidisciplinary artist who works with photography, video, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. A graduate of Columbia University with a triple major in Art History, French and Women’s Studies, she additionally studied at Parson’s School of Design, International Center of Photography, School of Visual Arts, Art Students League and the New York Academy of Art. Cesarine had her first solo show at the age of sixteen at Paul Mellon Arts Center. Her work as an artist has been featured internationally at many art galleries, museums, and art fairs, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hudson Valley MOCA, Mattatuck Museum, Albany Institute of History and Art, CICA Museum, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, French Embassy Cultural Center, Art Basel Miami, SCOPE Art Basel, SCOPE Miami, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Getty Images Gallery, Cannes Film Festival and the International Festival Photo Mode to name a few. In 2014, her public art sculpture “The Egg of Light” was exhibited at Rockefeller Center as part of the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt supporting The Elephant Family. Her work has been auctioned at Sotheby’s New York for the annual Take Home A Nude art benefits in 2017-2019, at ARTWALK NY benefiting the Coalition for the Homeless in 2018 and 2019, as well as at Tabula Rasa, the 26th Annual Watermill Center Benefit and Auction, July 2019. Her work is additionally on view at Norwood Art Club’s “Ingenuity” exhibition until August 2020. Her artwork and exhibitions have been featured internationally in many publications including American Vogue, Vogue Italia, Forbes, Newsweek, W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Dazed and Confused, New York Magazine, i-D Magazine, and The Huffington Post among many others. Cesarine currently lives and works in Tribeca, NY.

Blue Rose, 2020

Natalya Blue, 2020

Field of Flowers, 2020 (detail)

I Think I’m Dreaming, 2020

Iyanna and Svala No 1, 2020

Iyanna Electric Blue, 2020

LIFEFORCE (Energy), 2018

Les Roses Violettes, 2020

Iyanna and Svala No 2, 2020

Iyanna and Svala No 3, 2020

Iyanna No 3, 2020

Iyanna No 5, 2020

Iyanna No 1, 2020

Les Roses Blanches La Nuit Bleue, 2020

Blue Lillies, 2020

Natalya No 4, 2020

Les Lys Fleurissent, 2020

Smoking Magenta Roses, 2020

Iyanna and the Leaves No 2, 2020

Natalya Electric No 1, 2020

Natalya Electric No 2, 2020

Starla and Svala No 1, 2020

Une Rose Fleurit en Argent, 2020

Les Roses Blanches Sont Innocents, 2020

La Floraison, 2020

Natalya in The Leaves, 2020

The Blue Lilly, 2020

Roses in The Leaves, 2020

Une Seule Rose, 2020

Pandora’s Box Shh (Blue), 2020

Iyanna No 4, 2020

Iyanna Electric, 2020

Starla and Svala No 2, 2020

Rose Blanche No. 2, 2020

Rose Blanche No. 1, 2020

RĂŞver de Roses, 2020

Les Roses Ouvert, 2020

Iyanna and the Leaves No 3, 2020

Iyanna Electric Pink, 2020

Magenta Rose, 2020

Les Mains d’Argents, 2020

Natalya Electric No 3, 2020


Une Rose Fleurit en Couleur, 2020

Cascade of Lillies, 2020 (detail)

Dreaming of Eden, 2020

Les Fleurs Du Mal, 2018

Mother Earth, 2018

Rêver de Roses Bleues, 2020

La Fleur, 2017

La Reine, 2018

Cascade of Blue Lillies, 2020

Pink & Silver Lillies, 2020

Les Mains Blanches, 2020

“ONLY YOU” is a conceptual narrative portrait series chronicling a woman’s emotions as she

traverses a metaphorical landscape of love, loss and betrayal. Each artwork is part of the greater narrative of her story. The “ONLY YOU” series is based on autobiographical experiences of the artist, Indira Cesarine, and includes photography, video art and sculpture. It was photographed on a medium format Mamiya RZ camera, filmed on HD video, and the artist also created several welded steel sculpture for the series. Throughout the series, Cesarine emphasized close ups of the face, with an emphasis on the eyes as a portal of emotions, often dramatically rendered with Surreal techniques of solarization and intense high contrast light effects. The “ONLY YOU” series has been featured at Art Basel Miami for an exhibition in collaboration with American Friends of The Louvre and Miami Art Museum Contemporaries, at London’s Red Bull Studios in collaboration with Graffik Gallery, at CICA Museum, South Korea for “Portrait 2018” group show, and at SCOPE Basel Art Fair, Switzerland 2018 presented by Art Helix gallery. The series was featured in a solo exhibition at The Untitled Space in New York City, which included a special performance inspired by the artwork by dance company Bryn Cohn + Artists. The video art version has additionally been screened at Cannes Film Festival and on the Big Screen Plaza in Chelsea, New York. Several works from the series, including photography and sculpture, are featured in Norwood Arts Club’s “Ingenuity” group show in Chelsea, New York, on view from September 2019 - August 2020. For THE LABYRINTH, a selection of works focusing specifically on portraits of the eyes are featured, as well as a 2020 remix of the video art version of ONLY YOU, available to view exclusively in the exhibition at The Untitled Space.


ONLY YOU No 10, 2017

ONLY YOU No 26, 2017

ONLY YOU No 27, 2017

ONLY YOU No 601, 2017

ONLY YOU No 119, 2017

ONLY YOU No 602, 2017

ONLY YOU No 126, 2017

The “Goddess” series features photographic artwork of renowned

dancer Katherine Crockett shot in studio on medium format and montaged with landscapes and macro flora images, with all photography and compositing by Indira Cesarine. The series, which is predominately in black and white and printed with archival ink on raw aluminum metal, presents empowering emotive images of the female form, with graceful physical strength juxtaposed with images depicting the power of nature. Mother Earth becomes personified through the beauty of a goddess dancing. Dancer Katherine Crockett is known for her career in modern dance and performance, having been the principal dancer of Martha Graham Dance Company. She toured internationally with the company for twenty-one years. Crockett additionally starred as “The Queen” in the Off-Broadway immersive theater hit, “Queen of the Night,” for which she created and choreographed her role. She has danced alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov, and has been featured in numerous films including award-winning “Fall to Rise” directed by Jayce Bartok, and in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” as Cate Blanchett’s dancer double, directed by David Fincher.


Graceful Goddess Featuring Katherine Crockett, 2019

Goddess and Two Roses, 2019

Goddess of the Roses, 2019

Blooming Goddess, 2019

Goddess and Lilies No 3, 2019

Goddess and the Rose No 2, 2019

Goddess and the Rose No 1, 2019

The Rose Featuring Katherine Crockett, 2019

Three Graces and The Roses No 3, 2019

Three Graces and The Roses, 2019

Three Graces Featuring Katherine Crockett, 2019


ABOUT THE UNTITLED SPACE The Untitled Space is an art gallery located in Tribeca, New York in a landmark building on Lispenard Street. Founded in 2015 by artist Indira Cesarine, the gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-Ă -vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of women in art as well as special events aligned with our creative vision.

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