Barbara Broughel: Perspective, Optics and the Legibility of Nature
March 31 - May 5, 2001


The Frederieke Taylor gallery in Chelsea is pleased to announce an exhibition by Barbara Broughel, opening Saturday, March 31. In this exhibition, Broughel will present five new installations as well as sculptures, paintings and drawings from a series of works entitled Perspective, Optics and the Legibility of Nature. This series focuses on discoveries in perspective and optics during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the experimentation with new art production technologies that followed. The work suggests a theater of investigation, emphasizing the artist's studio as a laboratory and presents a portrait of the artist as a scientist, naturalist and experimenter in the renaissance tradition.

As in her earlier work, Broughel chooses her materials as a direct clue to the time and place she references. In this exhibition she places us somewhere in Northern Europe around 1725. Because of the subjects and the technologies that she depicts, a world of privilege, wealth and newly opened contact with Japan and South East Asian culture is indicated.

The materials that Broughel employs would suggest that the experimenter may be Dutch and probably a woman. However, none of these references are overt as is typical for Barbara Broughel's work; instead they are presented simply as material "facts", as a puzzle structure, which she asks the viewer to engage, much as an archeologist might engage an object-in-context.

Barbara Broughel is a New York based artist who has exhibited extensively in Europe and the United States, in museum, in art galleries and outdoor installations. Over the years Broughel's work has taken a variety of forms, usually presented as installations and investigative projects, including games, films, video-works, objects, photographs, paintings and drawings. She has had commissions in Europe and the United States and is currently producing a site-specific project as part of the Queens Museum's Crossing the Line exhibition scheduled for this year.