Sandra Cinto: Under the Sun and Stars: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

January 15 - February 14, 2004
Installation Views
Press release

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present its third solo exhibition with Sandra Cinto, 'Under the Sun and Stars.'  Referencing Surrealist forebears from Magritte to Poe to Kabakov, Cinto has constructed a fantastical architectural structure that features a panoramic photographic installation and integrates with the existing gallery structure.


High walls lined with wainscot paneling lead the visitor through a spiral corridor and into a chapel-like central space that takes for its ceiling the bright milk-white glass and steel of a peaked skylight.  The pen and ink wall drawings so dominant in Cinto's previous two exhibitions at the gallery have been replaced by the rhythmic spacing of wainscot and by dozens of photographic works hung all throughout the interior of the structure.  Hung at various heights and depths along and within walls of the space, the photography features staged representations of motifs and images that reference the artist’s own drawings and sculpture.   All of the photography features high contrast and a single light source within a darkened space.  Indeed, sources of light such as candles, chandeliers, light bulbs and slices of daylight pervade these photographic subjects.   And as the bright skylight above bathes the central space with natural light, Cinto places the visitor into a literal representation of a universe shared by Magritte's "L'Empire des Lumieres".

As in her earlier exhibitions at the gallery, Cinto generates an uncanny sense of continuity across time and space by framing all of the photographic images in the same color as the walls of the space.  Further, the same paneling that lines the walls of the installation provides the backdrop for the photographic sets.  It is as if they function as more than two-dimensional visual elements, but instead as lenses into another dimension or time.  The architecture also functions as an alternative framework for the viewing of the photography, removing the viewer from the stark conventional white cube of the Contemporary gallery space as it transforms that very space from within.