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 Elspeth Halvorsen  (1929 - )

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/New York      Known for: three-dimensional multimedia constructions-surrealism, mod painting

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Ad Code: 4
Elspeth Halvorsean
from Auction House Records.
Untitled Still Life
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Hollis Taggart Galleries (Artists, S-Z):
Born in Purdys, New York, Elspeth Halvorsen is the daughter, granddaughter, and mother of professional artists.  She has studied at prestigious academic and artistic institutions includingthe New School for Social Research, the Art Students League, and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.  In 1955, she moved to Provincetown, Massachusetts, establishing her home and studio in the former residence of Mark Rothko.  Provincetown not only remains her home but also acts as a personal, social, and artistic source of inspiration for her work.

Shortly after arriving in Provincetown, Halvorsen and her husband, the late Tony Vevers, began exhibiting their paintings at the prominent Sun Gallery.  Ten years later, Halvorsen’s work underwent a transformation after she saw the box constructions created by a friend.  The experience prompted her to try her own three-dimensional work.  She has created multimedia constructions composed of paint, photographs, string, sand, metal, and found objects ever since.

Halvorsen’s pieces employ a number of recurring iconographic elements in a manner reminiscent of the Surrealist vocabulary: eggs, ladders, clock faces, architecture, swings, and miniature sculptural torsos.  The various elements are staged to produce the effect of a psychological rumination in a framed, theater-like environment.  Light, often introduced via mirrors, arches, and cutouts, enlivens these objects and creates a provocative ambiance of interpretive ambiguity.  The artist’s work draws on a myriad of sources: personal memories; objects given or mailed to her; the landscape of Cape Cod; and contemporary events, such as war, displacement, and loss.

In the late 1980s, Halvorsen was a co-founder of Provincetown’s cooperative Rising Tide Gallery, which operated for ten years. She continues creating new work and frequently exhibits in galleries and museums.

© Copyright 2008 Hollis Taggart Galleries

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