Sara VanDerBeek, Continuum Blue, 2008. Chromogenic color print, 30 1/2 × 30 1/2 × 2 inches (77.5 × 77.5 × 5.1 cm). Gift of Dr. Dana Beth Ardi. Courtesy the artist, Metro Pictures, New York, and Altman Siegel, San Francisco. © Sara VanDerBeek
Deeply invested in the examination of the historical relationship of photography and sculpture, Sara VanDerBeek often constructs assemblages of objects and images for the express purpose of photographing them. She draws her found materials and images from a variety of sources—art-historical anthologies, her family archive of photographs, and collected ephemera—and shoots numerous rolls of film of each tableau before completing the work as a single photograph.
The artist’s methodology includes splicing and superimposing, as seen in Continuum Blue. Here VanDerBeek has constructed a diamond-shaped collage, arranging four triangles of patchwork imagery to radiate out from a point in the middle. The content of the individual images becomes color and pattern, giving way to an image of simultaneity, like a moment seized in a filmic cross-fade. Almost visualizing movement, its effect is mesmeric.
This photograph joins another by VanDerBeek in the ICA/Boston collection, building the museum’s holdings of the artist’s work. It further strengthens the ICA’s collection of studio-based photography, which includes works by Roe Ethridge, Pipilotti Rist, Thomas Ruff, and Lorna Simpson.