Red Clover: David Mramor and Elizabeth Glaessner
Lane Meyer Projects
September 6 - October 7, 2019
- Opening Reception: Friday September 6 at 6pm
The collaboration for this show began in the summer of 2018 when David visited Elizabeth at a residency in Vermont. After indulging in a couple of maple creemees, they wandered into a bookstore across the parking lot. The man at the front desk greeted them with a smile matching the smiley face poster that hung behind him. He had a long gray ponytail, wire rimmed round glasses and when he walked over to ask if they needed help, they spotted sandals on his feet. A real Vermonter?
After finding out they were visiting from New York City, he began his story about leaving the city of Boston and his attempts to connect with nature in the 1960’s. He was part of the Back-to-the-land movement and one of the founders of the Red Clover Commune. He, like many of his friends, left a big city to live off the land without much success. “That first winter just about killed me.”
He handed them the book Going Up the Country by Yvonne Daley, a book about the history and analysis of the counterculture movement in Vermont. It tells the story of how thousands of young migrants, largely from the cities and suburbs of New York and Massachusetts, turned their backs on the establishment of the 1950s and moved to the backwoods, small towns and cities of rural Vermont. It spawned a revolution in lifestyle, politics, sexuality, and business practices that now have a profound impact on Vermont and the rest of the nation. The movement brought hippies, back-to-the-landers, political radicals, sexual libertines, and utopians to a previously conservative state that led to farm-to-table, Bernie Sanders, and the progressive politics of today.
On their first trip to Vermont, they started a film called As the World Turns which was finished on their second trip in the winter of the following year. The film became the nucleus for this show. A Rip Van Winkle character is shown during his youth and at an older age. In the film, they shine a light on the hippie tropes which now exist in Vermont as popular tourist activities, such as blueberry picking, swimming in natural creeks, and finding ones’ spirit in the landscape. The result is a whitewashed “back to nature” experience that subtly exposes the complexities of co-opting ideologies on a surface level. This romanticizing of ideals and nature is also seen in the paintings and works on silk. Puritan characters and themes are subverted and toyed with.
As we are constantly bombarded with frenzied media dividing our society, we ask ourselves - have we failed? Is giving in to the temptation of escape the only solution? Would we still be artists, activists, both or neither? Or would we have a similar fate as the person at the front desk?
David Mramor was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He performs in the band Enid Ellen under the label FemmeKraft. This past summer he was a SIP fellow at the Robert Blackburn Printshop. His visual art has been shown across the United States and Europe. He currently lives in NYC.
Elizabeth Glaessner (b. 1984, Palo Alto CA) received her BFA from Trinity University and an MFA from New York Academy of Art where she received a post-graduate fellowship in 2013. She has lived and worked in New York City since 2007. Glaessner’s work has been exhibited at P.P.O.W. Gallery, Louis B. James Gallery, Sargent’s Daughters, New Release, 1969 Gallery, Vacation and more. Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, Interview Magazine and Modern Painters among others. She was awarded residencies at the Leipzig International Art Programme and Glogau AIR in Berlin. Glaessner is currently represented by P.P.O.W. and teaches in the Visual and Critical Studies Department at SVA and in the Fine Arts Department at Montclair University.
Lane Meyer Projects
2528 Walnut Street
Denver CO 80205