My current body of work investigates perceived ideals about security and comfortable living and its attendant risks. I create installations using objects covered with patterns from the inside of security envelopes from bills and credit card offers I receive in the mail-- so-called Data Protection Patterning. The purpose of these patterns is to keep us secure; in turning them outward their role becomes subverted. These installations include upholstered furniture, wallpaper, curtains, clothing, embroideries, as well as drawings and objects. The installations are arranged to evoke the domestic house museums I once imagined as home or the alienation of furniture showrooms. They are informed by pattern and decoration artists and movements such as Wiener Werkstätte, The Omega Workshops, Sonia Delaunay and Whistler’s Peacock Room. These artists and movements sought to create a gesamtkunstwerk, a work that embraces many art forms at once. In these works I employ drawing, sculpture, installation, craft, digital media and performance to create an immersive experience that blurs the space between present, past and future; between reality, nostalgia and desire.
I am interested in using physical mail as a material because it is so quickly becoming obsolete; it has become akin to a cultural artifact. Its profusion through mass mailings yet rapid disappearance in the digital age is indicative of the exponential changes that pervade our culture. Offers of credit and low interest loans have provided us an illusory material wealth and what we discard and consume have become topical issues in this increasingly digitized moment in history. For these reasons, these throwaway envelopes are compelling for both their symbolic cultural resonance and impending obsolescence. They embody the uncertain prospect of security that the objects they cover hope to provide.
Artist Bio / CV
Elizabeth Duffy has exhibited work at the Drawing Center, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, White Columns, Dartmouth College's Strauss Gallery, Pentimenti Gallery, Dam Stuhltrager Gallery, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, Nikolai Fine Art, Holland Tunnel Gallery, Wave Hill, The Islip Museum, raw & co. Gallery, Hunter College Leubsdorf Gallery and Muriel Guépin Gallery. She has held residencies at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center and Ragdale and is the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Pollock Krasner Foundation, and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Her recent Artist’s book: Enclosure/Exposure, was published by Purgatory Pie Press and presented by Printed Matter. She received her MFA from CUNY Brooklyn College and studied art at the New York Studio, Hunter College and Rutgers College.
In 2005 Elizabeth began a collaboration with Brian Miller and established the Loku Press. Together they have published artists’ books and have exhibited their ongoing project “A Series of Minor Miracles.”
Elizabeth's work is in the collections of Deutsche Bank, Fidelity Investments, the Heard Museum, Dartmouth College Rauner Special Collections Library, and in numerous private collections. Her work has been written about in the New York Times, Art News, Art on Paper, the Boston Globe, the Village Voice, and many other publications.