Lesley Heller Gallery is pleased to present Waterline, Lothar Osterburg’s 4th solo exhibition with the gallery.
Lothar Osterburg is known for his photogravure images of lost or imagined worlds, created using models built quickly and intuitively from readily available found materials. His models are photographed, then printed in photogravure—a 19th century photographic print process—resulting in images with an historic, timeless and nostalgic quality to them, making them seem both familiar yet foreign.
In Waterline, Osterburg returns to his decade old fascination with boats in the context of rising sea levels. The title refers to the word’s meaning as: the level water reaches on a floating body; and the level water reaches on a static object, marking a high-water line. He references past floods and eras during which much of today’s landmass was inundated, hinting at the cyclical nature of geological changes and the resilience of life on earth.
The boats and ships—each one hand made and with its own personality—serve as a metaphor for life overcoming its obstacles. The boats float atop the water, are tossed around by storms and waves, have sunk, are scattered in the landscape by receding waters, or are waiting for the impending waters to arrive.
Included in the exhibition is an installation of Osterburg’s models, something he does not always do. His hand-crafted boats, hang hip high along the gallery wall, suggesting an imaginary waterline; or a possible future sea level for the gallery’s’ location.
Lothar Osterburg (b. 1961 Braunschweig, Germany) was trained in printmaking and experimental film making at the Hochshule fur bildende Kunste (Art Academy), Braunschweig, Germany. Osterburg has taught printmaking at Pratt College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, and the Lacoste School of the Arts in France.
Solo exhibitions include Lesley Heller Gallery, NY; Esther Massry Gallery, College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY; Moeller Fine Art, Berlin, Germany; ICPNA, Lima, Peru; Rockland Arts Center, Nyack, NY; Woodstock Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY; Moeller Fine Art, NY.
Notable awards include a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (2010); Cill Rialaig Art Center, Kerry, Ireland (2013); Bogliasco Foundation, Liguria, Italy (2011); American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY (2010); and New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (2003 and 2009). He has collaborated on several sound and video projects that have been performed in and around New York City.
Osterburg’s work is held in numerous collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago; and the New York Public Library. He has collaborated with artists including Lee Friedlander, Sol Lewitt, Wayne Thiebaud, Jim Dine, Judy Pfaff, Vija Celmins, Kiki Smith, Joel Peter Witkin and Brice Marden. Osterburg is currently based in Redhook, NY, and serves as an Artist in Residence in Studio Art specializing in Printmaking and Photographic Printmaking at Bard College.