Erin Shirreff | the artist
The artist Erin Shirreff
Born 1975, Kelowna, British Columbia.
Lives and works in New York City, USA.
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Erin Shirreff lives and works in New York City. She holds an MFA from Yale University (2005) and a BFA from the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Recent exhibitions include Broken Thorn Sweet Blackberry at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Some Thing Else at Peter Blum, both in New York, the Dark Fair at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, and a solo booth for Frame at the 2009 Frieze Art Fair. In 2010 she will exhibit at Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago and in the Front Room at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. Her work is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
In her online project Live Feed (2007ongoing) we can watch her walking around a vaguely human-shaped mound of clay that dominates her tiny studio. Though this is supposedly a live feed of artistic creation, despite Shirreffs constant movement the clay monolith lies inert, failing to take shape as a sculpture. Shirreff also deploys clay in Book of Knives (2008), an encyclopaedia of prehistoric-looking tools and knife blades…
In Shirreffs recent series Untitled (2009), angular geometric forms made of compressed ash leant along the long gallery wall, their relatively thin surfaces suggesting veneer or casts rather than actual structural elements. With no immediately obvious function, these shells may evoke ancient temples as much as they might the papier-mâché architecture of Disneyland…
By exploiting the difference between what the eyes see and what the camera sees, and by playing two dimensions against three, Erin Shirreff coaxes animated life from still photographs, sculptures from shadows, and an air of purpose from equivocal objects. Her New York solo debut (titled after the things that people most often say they make out in ink blots or clouds) is a smart, coherent show that examines the role projection plays in our reading of the world…