currents7: Elizabeth Atterbury

January 27, 2015 - June 7, 2015

Upper Jetté Galleries

For some time now artist Elizabeth Atterbury has been testing the authority and autonomy of the photographic image; she exploits its twin capacities for frankness and withholding. Indeed, many of her recent photographic prints could not be more explicitly incoherent. How far can one peel representation away from the thing it depicts without detaching it altogether? Frequently drawn to pliable but precarious materials such as paper and sand, Atterbury constructs ephemeral tableaus specifically for the purpose of recording and, in so doing, transfiguring them. For the seventh installment of the Museum’s currents series, this Portland-based artist extends her analysis of the photogenic properties of objects in new two- and three-dimensional work, creating a site-specific installation. If Atterbury’s photographs pose questions about the limits of pictorial literacy, her objects further fray distinctions between artifact, prop, model, and sculpture. Within the museum setting, these indistinctions antagonize traditional habits of museological display, documentation, and reproduction.

Elizabeth Atterbury has participated in group exhibitions at Heaven Gallery in Chicago, and KANSAS and Bodega in New York. She has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Document in Chicago, and kijidome in Boston. In the Middle, An Oasis, a monograph of her work, was published by Bodega Press in 2013. Atterbury holds a BA from Hampshire College and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She lives and works in Portland, ME.

Related Programming

Related Publications

Exhibition review: Abraham Adams, “Three Cups Fragrance” at BODEGA, NYCArtforum, December 2014


Banner Image: Rake, 2014, Silver gelatin print, 11 x 14 inches, Image courtesy of the artist

currents6: Gina Siepel

November 4, 2010 - February 13, 2011

Davis Gallery

The currents series provides solo exhibition opportunities for emerging artists with connections to Maine. currents 6presents process- and performance-based works by Gina Siepel, including the artist’s hand-built river workboat based on the traditional bateau and video documentation of her trips along the Kennebec River with a series of “guides”—individuals invited by the artist to share their expertise and personal reflections on the river. The exhibition also features Siepel’s photographic restagings of Winslow Homer’s iconic images of wilderness guides and videos exploring often overlooked historic markers and their surrounding environments. Commissioned by the Colby Museum, the installation by Siepel—a graduate of the Maine College of Art and alumna of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture—reconsiders the artist’s role in society and creates what she describes as “living links” to the past.


Banner Image: Gina Siepel, Still fromA River Twice, 2010, Courtesy of the artist

currents5: t s Beall

October 9, 2008 - February 1, 2009

Davis Gallery

In the fifth installment of currents, an annual solo exhibition dedicated to the work of an emerging artist with connections to Maine, the Colby College Museum of Art presents Here Be Dragons (2008), a new video installation by t s Beall, an American artist living in Glasgow who attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2003. The exhibition consists of a single watchtower surmounted by a rotating platform outfitted with video projectors. From it, circular, scope-like video sequences of landscape imagery drawn from desolate outposts and contested areas are projected onto the walls of the gallery.

Watch a video of the installation here


Banner Image: t s Beall, Bradley takes out IED (Iraq), Video still from Here Be Dragons, 2008-09, Video projections of live-feed and recorded content from online sources, two DVD players, laptop computer, steel, wood, motors, and cables, dimensions variable, Museum purchase from the Jere Abbott Emerging Artist Fun, 2009.044

currents4: Amy Stacey Curtis

December 15, 2007 - April 13, 2008

Davis Gallery

Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

The fourth installment of the Museum’s annual emerging- artist exhibition, currents, presents work by Maine-based installation artist Amy Stacey Curtis. Curtis, who has been working in abandoned industrial sites throughout the state for the past seven years, creates interactive works that examine our interconnectedness through themes of chaos, order, and repetition. For currents4, Curtis invites viewers to perceive, manipulate, and perpetuate her exploration of light and color.


Banner Image: Amy Stacey Curtis, sort II (Detail), 2007, Photo by Alan La Vallee

currents3: Lihua Lei

November 16, 2006 - February 4, 2007

Davis Gallery

Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator and Gregory Williams, Assistant Director for Operations

Lihua Lei’s work explores the sense of bounty and loss inherent to our bodily condition. Working in the gap between the figurative and the abstract, Lei uses diverse materials to allude to the body: a pool of carnelian colored thread suggests blood; a tube of cloth winds through the landscape like an esophagus or a birthing canal; a tree’s knotty irregularities imply scars, burns, or tumors upon a torso. For currents3, Lei explores memory as a bodily phenomenon, exemplified by the phantom limb. How does our body remember, or feel, what it has lost? Lei’s installation invites the viewer to reflect upon the vulnerabilities and transformations of the body.


Banner Image: Lihua Lei, Phantom Pain (Detail), 2006, Installation in three parts at Colby College, Image courtesy of the artist

currents2: Sam Van Aken

November 20, 2005 - February 12, 2006

Davis Gallery

Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

In Colby’s second annual emerging artist exhibition, currents2, installation artist and University of Maine Professor of Art Sam Van Aken creates a multimedia installation exploring his personal and artistic engagement with the 1977 Steven Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.


Banner Image: Sam Van Aken, 01:15:39;22 (Detail), 2005, multimedia installation, dimensions variable, Image courtesy of the artist

currents1: Julianne Swartz

October 28, 2004 - February 6, 2005

Davis Gallery

Curated by Sharon Corwin, Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator

Julianne Swartz, a New York-based artist whose work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, uses light and sound to explore the thresholds of perception. Her installations challenge the viewer to see and hear elements in the environment that previously may have gone unnoticed.


Banner Image: Julianne Swartz, You Are Here (Detail), 2004, PVC pipe, Plexiglas, mirror, motor, and hardware, Courtesy of the artist and Josee Bienvenu Gallery