Critics’ Picks

Sheree Hovsepian, Under Influence, 2018, Silver gelatin photographs, silver gelatin photogram, nylon, artist’s frame, 34 1/4 x 28 1/2 x 6 1/2”.


Sheree Hovsepian

451 N Paulina Street
March 3–April 28

Sheree Hovsepian’s works express movement and form in a way that prompts a heightened awareness of the body’s weight and gestures. Through intimate photographs of figures cropped and covered within assemblages, the artist has consistently created a presence that expands beyond the pieces themselves to tap into the viewer’s own physical consciousness. In this exhibition, she continues to merge photography, sculpture, and performance by interweaving these images with nylon fabric and silver-gelatin photograms. Hovsepian lets the human figure take its form from the negative spaces created by the structures around it. The strong sense of motion across the works—twisting anatomies, folds in paper, and stretching nylon—echo the performative aspects of exposing and shielding light-sensitive paper. This practice persists in the ultimate compositions, as the photograms themselves now conceal and reveal other materials. Introvert, 2018, is a three-quarter view of a torso; the body above the shoulders takes its shape from the photogram. Beige nylon cuts across the frame and constructs layered surfaces that result in meeting points and crossing contours.

Much like Senga Nengudi’s sculptural panty-hose installations, Hovsepian’s assemblages magnify the sensuality, fluidity, and versatility of the female body. In Under Influence, 2018, the arc of a woman’s sloped spine matches the curved line of a photogram’s shadow beneath it. Nylon fabric sweeps across the left and right sides of the frame, overlapping at the bottom of the piece. The fiber is pulled taut and, like in all of the works where there is not complete symmetry, there is a careful balance of forms. The nylon acts almost like a womb, holding the delicately rolled photogram secure in place.