Taubra Auerbach

I went to the Whitney Biennial not too long ago and one of the artists that really stuck with me was Taubra Auerbach.  I spent a solid 10 minutes investigating each of her three canvas’ which were hung for the mass showing and was amazed by how they drew attention from countless visitors by their tromp l’oeil effect.  You see, each of these canvas’ is perfectly flat, completely stretched upon a frame, the folds and textures are all an illusion.

The process by which Auerbach achieves her illusion is really quite simple; she takes a large canvas and folds it upon itself several times then leaves it to crease.  Once the canvas has been sufficiently scored with lines she flattens it and then paints it with an industrial spray gun from multiple angles, circling the piece to achieve the correct color saturation to emphasize each of the folds (think tie dye).

Viewing photos of the pieces, like all art, does the true work no justice.  Each of her canvas’ are 4-6 feet tall, when confronted with an object that is flat but appears to display depth you are drawn to it, leveling your face inches from it’s surface searching for any crevice but finding none.  The false impression of her art is masterfully achieved, what subjective comment this draws from her of from us, I’m not sure, but damn did I love having my brain fried while investigated each piece trying to unlock what exactly I was seeing.

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