Project Description

Devorah Sperber

Using up to thousands of spools of thread and an optical glass, installation artist Devorah Sperber cleverly combines science and art to create optical illusions of classic paintings. Sperber begins the recreation process by taking digital images of each work and matching spools of thread for the pixel colors. The inverted pieces are suspended from the ceiling, and from a distance, a vague suggestion of an Old Master painting emerges. It is only through the crystal-ball like orb that one can see the intended vision in sharp clarity.

Of her process, Sperber explains, “ I started to use optical devices by chance. I was creating my first thread spool work in a very small studio. I couldn’t see it in its entirety even from the hall. There were binoculars lying around and I flipped them around, using them the wrong way, to see the whole thing. When I did that, the abstract thread spools changed into a realist image again.”

These installations have garnered much admiration and attention as the interactive involvement fosters a playfulness not often associated with masterworks.

EDUCATION
1987 BA, Regis University, Summa Cum Laude, Denver, CO
1981 Colorado Institute of Art, Finalist for best portfolio, Denver, CO

AWARDS
2007 Panelist for Fellowship in Sculpture, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
2006 Nacional de España’s contemporary print project, Madrid, Spain
2005 Fellowship in Sculpture, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
2005 People’s Choice Award, New Acquisitions, Ulrich Museum

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2013 My Theory of Everything (working title), Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL
2013 My Theory of Everything (working title), Traveling Exhibition
2011 Solo Exhibition, ArtParis, Galerie Nordine Zidoun, Grand Palais, Paris, FR
2011 Devorah Sperber: Gone to the Dogs, Muroff Kotler Gallery, SUNY Ulster College, Stone Ridge, NY
2010 Devorah Sperber: Threads of Perception, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
2010 Devorah Sperber: Threads of Perception, Kimball Art Center, Park City, UT
2009 Devorah Sperber: A Strange Sense of Déjà vu, David Brown, Curator, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA
2009 Clin d’oeil au Louvre, Galerie Nordine Zidoun, Paris, France
2009 Devorah Sperber: Threads of Perception, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID
2009 Devorah Sperber: Threads of Perception, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN
2009 Devorah Sperber: Seeing Things, Ierimonti Gallery, Milan, Italy
2008 Interpretations, Devorah Sperber, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
2008 Mirror Universe, Caren Golden Fine Art, New York, NY
2008 Devorah Sperber: Flash Back, Kleinert James Gallery, Woodstock, N
2007 The Eye of the Artist: The Work of Devorah Sperber, Brooklyn Museum of Art, curated by Marilyn Kushner, Brooklyn, NY
2007 Devorah Sperber: Ocular, Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, Canada
2007 Selected works from The Eye of The Artist: The Work of Devorah Sperber, Bentley Projects, Phoenix, AZ
2006 BiFocal, Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Alfred University, Alfred, NY
2005 US Representative, Ljubljana Print Biennale, curated by Marilyn Kushner, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2004 Quartered, Flipped & Rotated, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
2004 Devorah Sperber, McKenzie Fine Art, Chelsea, NY
2004 Banal and Sublime, Morlan Gallery, Transylvania University, Lexington KY
2003 Digitized Notions, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
2003 Pixelated, Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
2002 Bikinis, Bandanas and a VW Bus, James Graham & Sons Gallery, New York, NY
2001 Post Digital: 800 lbs. of Pixels, HEREArt Gallery, Soho, NY
1998 Humanity—A Living Installation, Ernest Rubenstein Gallery, New York City, NY.
1996 Sangre De Christo Arts Center, Pueblo, CO.
1995 Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM.
1994 State Historical Museum, Boise, ID.
1993 Cadena Gallery, Soho, NY.
1992 Tampa Bay Holocaust Memorial Museum, St. Petersburg, FL.
1992 College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY.
1991 Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, CO.
1990 The Design Center, Denver, CO.

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2014 Face to Face, Wall to Wall, Traveling Exhibition, Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
2013 Thread, Scott White Contemporary, La Jolla, CA
2013 Craigshead Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
2013 Punch Card, Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Exhibition traveling to Arena 1, Santa Monica, CA
2012 Brain: The Inside Story, Parque de la Ciencias, Granada, Spain
2011 After the Last Supper, Inaugural Exhibition, Crystal Bridges of American Art, Bentonville, AR
2011 The Moment of Play’ Aha! Moment, Hangaram Musuem /Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
2011 Gertrude Stein Show, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C., Tirza T. Latimer, curator, traveling to the Jewish Museum, San Francisco,CA
2011 Traces, Gregg Museum of Art & Design, NCSU, Barbara Lee Smith, curator, Raleigh, NC
2010 What We See, Peabody Essex Museum, Interactive Art & Nature Center, Jane Winchell, Trevor Smith, curators
2010 Lille 3000, Shanghai, China,
2010 The Brain, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
2010 Cannot Wait for Spring to Begin, Galerie Nordine Zidoun, Luxembourg
2009 The Art, Inspiration, and Appropriations of Andy Warhol, Marla Wasser, curator, Ontario, Canada
2009 Chelsea Visits Havana, Havana Biennale, Musee Nationale Belles Artes, Paris, France
2009 Upcycling: Recuperating Past Lives, Architecture and Design Museum (A+D), Marieke Elaine Treilhard, curator, Los Angeles, CA
2009 Deviate, Schroeder Romero Gallery, New York, NY
2009 Out of This World, Albany International Airport Gallery, Albany, NY
2009 Then and Now, Diane Forsberg and Martha Hoppin, curators, Arkell Museum, Canajohare, NY
2009 Group Exhibition, Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA
2009 Manuf®actured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects, Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
2009 Beyond Appearances, Susan Hoeltzel, Patricia Cazorlla, and Nina Sundell, Curators, Lehman College, Bronx, NY
2009 In Stitches, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Curator, Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery, New York, NY
2008 Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, David McFadden & Lowery Stokes Sims, Curators, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY
2008 Art, Image and Warhol Connections, The Jewish Museum, Daniel Belasco & Joanna Montoya, Curators, New York, NY
2008 Through the Looking Glass: Image and Process Deconstructed, works by Chuck Close and Devorah Sperber, le Poisson Rouge Gallery, New York, NY
2008 Futurotextiel 08, Kortrijk, Belgium
2008 Domestico, Ieremonti Gallery, Milan, Italy
2008 Bearden to Ruscha: Contemporary Art from the North Carolina Museum of Art, Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC
2008 Fast Forward: Three Decades of Contemporary Art from the North Carolina Museum of Art, Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, GA
2008 Manuf®actured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR, Mara and Steven Holt Skov, Curators
2008 Brainwave: Common Senses, Exit Art, Jeanette Ingberman, Papo Colo, Curators
2008 Familiar Faces, VCU Arts, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA
2007 Rock my Religion, Oda Park, Venray, The Nederlands
2007 Material Pursuits, Evelyn Hankins, Curator, Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont , Burlington, VT
2007 Thread, (same title as below but different show), Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA
2007 Thread, Michele Thursz, Curator, Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
2007 Floored, Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC
2006 Material Abuse, Caren Golden Fine Art, New York, NY,
2006 Material Abuse, traveled to the Clifford Gallery of Colgate University
2006 After The Mona Lisa,the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
2006 Everything Is Wrong, Antonia Donzé-van Saanen, Curator, Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal/Basel, Switzerland
2006 RxArt Invitational Exhibition/Auction, New York, NY
2006 There/Not There, Kingsborough Community College Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2006 Cowgirls of the Hudson River Valley, Brik Gallery, Catskill, NY
2006 Thread Bare: Tradition Unraveled, Kleinert/James Art Center, Woodstock, NY
2006 Extreme Materials, Marie Via, Curator, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY
2006 Over + Over: Passion as Process, Judith Hoos Fox & Ginger Duggan, Curators, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX
2005 RxArt Invitational Exhibition/Auction, New York, NY
2005 The New Art Event, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
2005 Over + Over: Passion as Process, Judith Hoos Fox & Ginger Duggan, Curators. Katonah Art Museum; Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA; Krannert Art Museum (KAM), Urbana-Champaign, IL
2005 Precious Little, Sharon Bates, Curator, Albany Airport Gallery, Albany, NY
2004 Squint, Jack the Pelican Presents, Williamsburg, NY
2003 Formed Function, Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
2003 Art After the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Eugenie Tsai, Curator, Apex Art, New York, NY
2003 Duality/Autonomy, Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, Denver University, Denver, CO
2003 Bits n Pieces, Beth Venn, Curator, DAC (DUMBO Arts Center) Brooklyn, NY
2003 Rockin’ back Inside Our Hearts 1993-2003, HEREArt, Soho, NY
2002 The Nature of the Beast, Caren Golden Gallery, New York, NY
2002 Faster Than The Eye, Renny Pritikin, Curator/Director, Yerba Buena Arts Center, San Francisco, CA
2002 Accumulations, Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY
2002 Sense Data, Four-Person Exhibition, The Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA
2002 Text/Textile, Deutsche Banc, New York, NY
2002 Building Supplies, Spaces, Cleveland, OH
2001 Alterations, Graham Gallery, New York, NY
2001 The Garden of Forking Paths Art/Science, Pacifico Gallery, New York, NY
2001 Summer Group Exhibition, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ
2000 Minutiae, S.E.C.C.A., Southeaster Center for Contemporary Art, David Brown, Sen. Curator, Winston- Salem, NC
2000 Extraordinary Things, University of Bridgeport Gallery, Kaz McCue, Director, Bridgeport, CT
2000 ELEMENTS 2000, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY
2000 Utopia/Dystopia, outdoor installation show, Byrdcliffe Colony of the Arts, Woodstock, NY
2000 SnapShot, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD
2000 Generations II: A Survey of Women Artists at the Millennium, Invitational A.I.R. Gallery, Soho, NY
2000 Byrdcliffe Bienniel/ Faculty Show, Kleinert/James Art Center, Woodstock, NY
1999 Projects 99, The Carriage House at the Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY
1999 Invitational, Coffey Gallery, Kingston, NY
1999 Invitational, University Gallery, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT
1999 Alumni Show, Regis University, Denver, CO
1999 Byrdcliffe Faculty Show, Kleinert/James Gallery, Woodstock, NY
1998 Holocaust, The Polish Experience, Curated by Art Without Walls, Polish Consulate, New York, NY
1998 Time and Place, Kleinert James Gallery, Woodstock, NY
1998 Byrdcliffe Faculty Show, Kleinert/James Gallery, Woodstock, NY
1997 10 Years of the Colorado Institute of Art Hall of Fame, Denver, CO
1997 Carving the Forces of Change, WCA National 25th Anniversary Show, Chicago, IL
1997 Byrdcliffe Faculty Show, Kleinert/James Gallery, Woodstock, NY
1996 Spaces, ISE Foundation, Soho, NY
1996 Nine Sculptors- Recent Sightings, Sullivan County Museum, New York, NY
1996 The Central Industrial Supply Show, curated by Gene Pool-Soho Arts Festival, New York, NY
1996 Transforming Tradition, Boston, MA
1996 100, Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center, New York, NY
1995 Director’s Choice, Ernest Rubenstein Gallery, New York, NY
1994 Off the Wall, Pace University Gallery, New York City. Jewish Women and Art, Curtis 1994 Arts Center, Greenwood Village, CO
1993 Holocaust Art Exhibition, Mizel Museum, Denver, CO
1993 Pioneering Artists of Colorado, Curtis Arts Center, Greenwood Village, CO
1992 Faces, Spark Gallery, Denver, CO
1991 E.S. Lawrence Gallery, Aspen, CO
1990 21st Century Gallery, Denver, CO

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS/COMMISSIONS
2009 After Mondrian, site-specific thread spool installation, Fashion 26 Hotel, New York, NY
2008 After Magritte, site-specific thread spool installation, RCCL Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
2007 3 site specific installations, 1 Penn Plaza Lobby, NYC, commissioned by NYFA for Vornado Realty Trust
2006 After Monet (Water Lilies), site specific installation, commissioned by Wells Real Estate Funds, Arlington, VA
2004 Reflections, site specific installation, Centro Medico Train Station, San Juan, Puerto Rico
2002 Virtual Environment, Diverse Works, Houston, TX
1993 Orlando City Hall, Orlando, FL
1993 University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN
1991 Joslyn Castle, Omaha, NE

VISITING ARTIST AND LECTURES
2009 University of Tennessee, lecture, Knoxville, TN
2009 Hamilton College, lecture and visiting artist, Clinton, NY
2008 MASS MoCA, residency, North Adams, MA
2008 Williams College, visiting artist, Williamstown, MA
2007 Robert Hull Fleming Museum, lecture, Burlingotn, VA
2007 Ottawa School of Art, visiting artist, Ottawa, Canada
2007 Brooklyn Museum in conjuction with “The Eye of the Artist: The Work of Devorah Sperber,” panelist, Brooklyn, NY
2007 Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Byrdcliffe Master, Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Woodstock, NY
2007 Master Class for Teens, instructor, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
2007 Oakland University, visiting artist, Detroit, MI
2007 Alfred University, visiting artist, Alfred, NY
2006 Memorial Art Gallery, lecture, Rochester, NY
2005 Visual Art and the Brain: At the Interface of Art and Science, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York/The New York Academy of Sciences, New York, NY
2004 Montclair State University, visiting artist, Montclair, NJ
2003 University of Colorado at Boulder, visiting artist, Boulder, CO
2003 Wichita State University, visiting artist, Wichita, KSPUBLICATIONS
2005 Sunek/ Thrust, 26th Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana catalog, Ljubljana, Slovenia,
2005 Over and Over: Passion for Process, Krannert Art Museum, Urbana-Champaign, IL
2006 Everything is Wrong, exhibition catalog, Kunstalle Palazzo, Liestal, Switzerland
2007 Thread, Wood Street Galleries, Philadelphia, PA
2007 Devorah Sperber: Ocular, exhibition catalog, Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, Canada
2008 Reflections: Largest Spool Art, Guinness World Records
2008 Independence of the Seas Cruise Ship, Royal Caribbean International, icart
2008 Futuro Textiel: Surprising Textiles, Design & Art, lille3000 catalog, Stichting Kunst Boek, Belgium
2008 Contemporary Textiles: The Fabric of Fine Art, Black Dog Publishing, London, UK
2008 Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY
2009 Devorah Sperber: A Strange Sense of Déjà vu, exhibition catalog, Taubman Museum of Art
2009 Devorah Sperber: Threads of Perception, exhibition catalog, Boise Art Museum, Washington Press
2010 Printmaking: A Contemporary Perspective, Black Dog Publishing, London, UK

TELEVISION/INTERVIEWS/EXHIBITION COVERAGE
2009 CBS Sunday Morning, CBS News
2009 Sunday Arts Profile, PBS, WNET, New York
2007 Devorah Sperber’s Ocular Exhibit, Interview with Dipna Horra, Ottawa Morning Show, NPR, CBC Radio One, Canada
2007 Interview with Mitchell Caplan, Chuo.FM89, Canada
2007 WCAX TV, Channel 3, Vermont
2007 L1 News, The Netherlands
2007 The Daily Planet, Discovery Channel, feature interview and studio visit
2005 CNN World Report, interview and video of installation at Ljubljana Print Biennale, Slovenia, Bostjan Jurecic
2004 PBS (HITN) Culturea Viva (Live Culture0, Laura Rivera, Puerto Rico
2000 WNYC (NBC) Weekend Today-Best Bets, New York
1995 Albuquerque channel 7 (ABC) evening and late new, NM
1995 Albuquerque channel 13 (CBS) evening and late new, NM
1991 Portland Channel 2, noon and evening news, OR
1991 KUSA (ABC) Making a Difference, CO Emmy Award
1991 KUSA (ABC) evening news, CO
1991 KCNC (NBC) Colorado Today, CO
1991 KCNA (NBC) evening news, CO
1991 KRDO, noon news, CO
1991 Omaha, noon news, NE

BIBLIOGRAPHY
http://devorahsperber.com/R%E9sum%E9_10_09.pdf

Rotunda Magazine – Driven to Abstraction
Communication methods set humans apart from all other species on earth. In the American Museum of Natural History’s Brain: The Inside Story exhibition, curators turn to two visual artists whose practices explore the complicated workings of the human brain. Devarah Sperber of New York and Daniel Cagonar of Madrid have both been deeply influenced by the advent (and drawbacks) of modern technology.  

Sculpture Magazine – The Art of Seeing
The process of art is inherently visual and Devorah Sperber has never taken that for granted. Utilizing a variety of unconventional materials, the New York-based artist appropriates iconic images in ways that challenge our optic and –perhaps more importantly – our social and historical perceptions. In an interview with Ana Finel Honigman, Sperber elaborates on her process. 

News Sentinel – Strung Along: Spools of thread become fine art in Sperber’s exhibit at KMA
After viewing her first JPEG image on a computer in the 90’s, Devorah Sperber’s career changed forever. The New York-based artist is now famed for her elaborate use of thousands of simple items in each of her compositions, from pipe cleaners to thread spools. Through this process, her pieces become experiments on the ways our brains make sense of the visual world. 

 

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