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Press Release


Opening reception: Thursday, February 8, 6–8 pm

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of works by Andrea Fraser. The exhibition will feature a series of photographs and a video, both of which explore art historical representations through the use of appropriated material.

On view for the first time in the United States, the photographs are recent prints from slides created by the artist in 1984. The slides were produced by superimposing and re-photographing slides of works by Renaissance and Modern masters Titian, Raphael, Pollock and de Kooning that were borrowed from museum slide-libraries or purchased at museum gift shops. The images, related to a series published in an artist book that took the form of a fictitious exhibition brochure, Woman1/Madonna and Child 1506-1967 (1984), aimed to examine how art history constructs the artist as a transhistorical subject and, in particular, how that construction is articulated in relation to representations of women. The resulting images are dissonant and grotesque, a mash-up of Renaissance figuration and Modernist abstraction in which Raphael's Madonna meets her opposite in de Kooning's women, and Titian's Venus disintegrates under Pollocks all-over field.

Also on view is A Visit to the Sistine Chapel, 2005, a video commissioned by Brancolini Grimaldi and filmed at the Vatican Museum. Like Little Frank and His Carp, 2001, a video filmed at the Guggenheim Bilbao, A Visit to the Sistine Chapel follows Fraser as she enters a museum and tries to be a good visitor, doing what she's told by the audio guide. However, instead of being commanded to sensually stroke the museum walls, as at the Guggenheim, the Vatican Museum guide tells Fraser to be pious--a difficult task in the context of the mass tourism that has turned the Vatican into a religious Disneyland rather than the meditative sanctuary the guide professes it to be.

This is Andrea Fraser's third solo exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery. Fraser exhibits in both the United States and internationally. Her work is currently on view in "Into Me / Out of Me," which originated at P.S. 1 – MoMA, New York in 2006, is now at KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, and is soon traveling to Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Rome. Her work is in public collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museu d'Art Contemporani, Barcelona; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery, Berlin; and Tate Modern, London. In 2005, the MIT Press published Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser. Fraser recently relocated from New York to California to join the art faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles.

The exhibition will open on February 8, with a reception from 6 - 8 p.m., and will remain on view through March 10. Friedrich Petzel Gallery is located at 535 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.