Elad Lassry Biography

Los Angeles-based Israeli-American multimedia artist Elad Lassry plays with perceptions of space and the images that dominate contemporary culture.

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Born in Tel Aviv, Lassry studied at the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, earning a BFA in Studio Art and Film in 2003, followed in 2007 by an MFA from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His seminal photographic and film works draw upon a vast array of found and artist-made images and objects married together in unusual visual relationships that confound the meanings of the chosen visual subjects and the boundaries between flat and three-dimensional.

Many of the images incorporated into Lassry's photographic works—what he describes as his 'pictures'—are generic photographs pulled from archives of vintage magazines and films. In repositioning these images within a new pictorial structure, the artist examines the story that lingers like a ghost long after the image is extracted from its original context.

Elad Lassry sometimes alters his source images by blurring, double-exposure, superimposition, and photocollage. The images are then placed in frames no larger than a magazine spread. An inseparable part of the picture, the frames reflect the images' colour schemes and compositions while often also introducing contrasting elements. Sometimes the frame intrudes upon the image, as with the silk fabric wrapped around Untitled (Woman, Blond) (2013), which partially covers the image like a set of silk blinds.

In many of Elad Lassry's artworks an additional fictive space or frame is inserted within the image itself, such as the implied white frame in Untitled (Carpet, Coral Hawkfish) (2019). The additional frame enshrines a collaged image against a larger black-and-white photograph, creating an illusionistic three-dimensional space encompassed by the actual picture frame.

Elad Lassry's film and performance works expand his exploration of the constructs that underlie photography as a medium and cultural phenomenon. In Untitled (2008) a series of photographs are reconstructed, emphasising the subjects that exist behind the images. In Untitled (Presence 2005) (2012), staged at The Hayworth, Los Angeles, 10 ballet dancers were choreographed and costumed to become a moving Lassry picture, even the stage design echoing the artist's framing techniques.

Finding broad appeal with a range of audiences in both the United States and Europe, Elad Lassry's work can be found in significant public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne.

Elad Lassry solo exhibitions include:

Elad Lassry, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2020); Elad Lassry, Le Plateau, Paris (2018); Elad Lassry, Vancouver Art Gallery (2017); Sensory Spaces 3, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2014); Elad Lassry, The Kitchen, New York (2012); Three Films, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2009).

Elad Lassry group exhibitions include:

Festival of Photography, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2017); Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers, MoMA PS1, New York (2016); Systematically Open?, Les Rencontres d'Arles, France (2016); Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015); The Generational Triennial: Younger Than Jesus, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2009).

Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2020

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