New York based multimedia artist Leonora Loeb works with installation, video, photography, and sculpture, all integrated in an overlap between modes of working. Across these materials, her studio time involves a translation from one medium to another, and a great deal of editing. Most of her video work incorporates sculptural sets built in the studio, and often the ideas for the constructed sets are generated by photographs, or video stills taken from previous work.
She describes it as "I often feel that I am collaborating with myself!"
Her ongoing series of ceramic sculptures are based on photographs taken during walks through the city. During these destination-less explorations she attempts to document visual connections between surfaces, without differentiating between the natural and constructed landscape. Items that are referenced in this ceramic wall-hanging series have included building facades, textiles, jewelry, and teeth.
Loeb's practice reveals the tension created as a result of the dialog between expression and concept. "I understand that usually the elements that build a piece of art are analyzed separately, like expression and concept, form and content. The truth is that when you work, everything is there, though maybe in a chaotic way, and one tries to find a kind of order through the process of making and editing. In such a process, expression and concepts are finding a place and the piece that at the beginning was a mystery starts to reveal itself."
As a teacher in the Visual Studies department at LIM College, Loeb is strongly connected to the different local art scenes of New York. "I find the density of artist run initiatives in NYC to be especially exciting- there is a scrappiness to this way of generating one’s own opportunities, and generosity in making other artists visible. Most artists I know spend a lot of time seeing shows of artists that are friends or with whom they have some connection. Having gone to grad school at the School of Visual Arts, I see many of the alum’s shows and as well as the MFA open studios. Every opportunity to show work can lead to access to a community.
While participating in the Mabou Mines Suite/Space Residency, a 6 month cross-disciplinary residency for artists working with performance ideas, introduced me to artists working in dance, sound, and theater; working on a collaborative video installation curated by Project For Empty Space and Solo(s) Project House at The Gateway in Newark, NJ introduced me to galleries, studios, residencies and artists in a different state."
Loeb is currently working on a series of short videos that move between showing an in-studio constructed landscape, and a self-portrait of the making of the work. This self-portrait is not literal, rather it aims to give insight into how ideas are generated while making work, and thru embracing subtle occurrences on "set". The original video footage is all shot at the limited areas of waterfront access in New York City.