Tony Tasset

May 12, 2011 – June 18, 2011 541 W. 23rd St.
projection of a woman in a video in a dimly lit gallery
image still of a blond woman

Press Release

Leo Koenig Inc. Projekte presents the opening of an exhibition by Tony Tasset entitled “Judy”. Though trained as a painter and sculptor, Tony Tasset has been known to work in a variety of media: photography, film, video, bronze, and wax. For “Judy”, Tasset chose the most beautiful medium he could think of… 35mm film.

“Judy” is, in fact, the artist’s wife and fellow artist, Judy Ledgerwood. The film simply captures a moment, and Tasset’s aim was to create a world compressed into that moment. The repeating memory of an instant flickers on the screen, exposing a personal reflection that poignantly resonates on a universal level. The passage of time and the notion of life’s brevity are succinctly and beautifully conveyed by the lush opulence of the film, which over time deteriorates, evincing scratches and blemishes over the course of the exhibition.

Tony Tasset began this work as a portrait of his wife. It is in many ways a love letter to her. Though the film’s constant looping and eventual disintegration might draw immediate references to Warhol, Tasset’s point of reference is immediate, personal and emotional as opposed to detached. In his own words, Tasset was trying to be as “open hearted and corny as a Neil Young song…” Unapologetic about the emotion behind his work, Tasset views it not only as a love letter to his wife, but a love letter to the medium of film at a time when the world is overwhelmingly becoming digitized.

In recent years, Tony Tasset has turned the dichotomy of his own identity – urban artist and suburban family man with a garden – into fodder for objects and images that are simultaneously ironic, serious, and deeply humanistic.

Tasset received his BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. He is currently a professor of art and design at the University of Illinois at Chicago.