Through Jan. 8
We got to know Lorna Bieber, through a good friend, her brother David, who handles special projects for the Phoenix and WFNX and is avid collector of pop culture artifacts. His home doubles as a private museum – comic books, vintage radios, records, consumer products. (Neither Bieber is related to Justin; Bieber actually used to be a fairly obscure name until the kid from Canada.) Lorna collects stuff too, but does things a little more public with them. Back in the '90s, we took a tour of Lorna's home/studio in New York and was very impressed with collages, photos and montages. Now, Bieber has an exhibit, "Narratives," up at the Addison Gallery at Phillips Academy in Andover through Jan. 8,
Composed of mundane even generic imagesm Bieber’s works are both ambitious and transcendent. For the past 30 years, she has used found images and stock photographs as the raw material for her art. In creating large-scale photographs and wall-sized montages, she begins with ordinary pictures and illustrations found in books, newspapers, and magazines. These appropriated images are then re-interpreted through a range of manipulations that includes photocopying, enlarging, reducing, cropping, enhancing, and ultimately re-photographing. Teasing out unnoticed and humdrum details from ordinary images and collaging fragmented tidbits culled from everyday pictures, the artist spins complex and ethereal worlds out of decidedly simple and earthbound elements. Likening her photography to alchemy, she says, “By altering the ‘root picture’ in these ways, I can create new branches whose narratives are utterly different from the original, bringing the observer to see the world in dramatically unexpected ways.” It makes us think of art the way the Residents make us think of music.