Human figures metamorphose into geometric shapes, mannequins, or machines; intricately refracted choreographies of light are projected into painted spaces; canvases capture cubistic compositions: Avery Singer’s work is recognizably inspired by the formal vocabulary of modernism. But the questions she explores are hardly the problems of centuries past. The accurate simulation of the refraction of light, for example, continues to be a major challenge in digital animation and videogame technology. Singer constructs her figures, broken down into geometric components, in a freeware 3D program and then transfers them onto large canvases using an airbrush and masking tape. Paintedin grayscale, the resulting works leave the viewer confounded as to what they behold, both in regards to the canvas’s material facture and the physicality of what they show: figures that look like paper cutouts and yet read, if not as individuals, then certainly as characters. Many of them (e.g., as in the series “The Artists”) are faintly caricatured types based on art-world figures who go about their daily business, sitting in a studio or at a café, staging performances or photo shoots. Singer’s edition for Texte zur Kunst is a study in spatial depth illuminated by a double source of light: a female figure, seen in a close-up quarter profile view, fixing her hair. The light, engendering a play of subtle shading on her face and hair and the wall in the background, animates the digitally generated surfaces and bathes the scene in an atmosphere that is dreamlike and theatrical in equal measure for an iridescent tableau delicately poised between warm and cool, nostalgia and a highly contemporary appeal.
Ditone print, 45.7 × 61 cm, edition: 100 + 20 A. P., numbered and signed on the back.