The disparity between what we expect from domesticity and what lurks beneath the surface generates a finely wrought tension that coils throughout this show.
Last month I reviewed the exhibition, Simon Dinnerstein: Revisiting The Fulbright Triptych, at the Mitzi & Warren Eisenberg Gallery of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey; Interior Monologues is a group show in the center’s main gallery, and it poses a parallel, and equally intriguing, view of domesticity. Both exhibitions are curated by Mary Birmingham and run through June 16.
Dinnerstein’s “Fulbright Triptych” (1971–74) is a dream-image of himself, his wife, and baby daughter, constructed from locations in Brooklyn and Hessisch Lichtenau, Germany. One of the first pieces you encounter in Interior Monologues, “Hidden in Plain Sight as It Has Always Been” (2018), an acrylic painting by Paul Wackers, contains similarly layered imagery. According to the artist’s statement on the wall label:
This painting came about as a composite of parts of the house I grew up in and my current apartment, so it has this sense of hidden truths and familiarity of place while not being any specific place.
A dream memory also breathes life into Erin Diebboll’s “Amir’s House” (2017), a large architectural drawing, part floor-plan, part elevation, of the home where the artist’s father-in-law spent his childhood in Tel Aviv. As she writes in her statement on the wall label, the house was demolished 50 years ago but Amir’s recollection of it was so vivid that he “calculated the meters of every room […].”
To call it an architectural drawing, though, is to ignore the loveliness of its grace notes, ....