For the folks at home
by Paul Smart
July 31, 2008 01:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Woodstock-based conceptual sculptor Devorah Sperber sees her new "Flash Back" exhibition in her hometown's Kleinert/James Arts Center, opening this Saturday, August 2, as something of a friendly ultimatum. "I've been joking with my friends, saying, 'If you do not see this exhibition, you'll have to supply me with an airline ticket that proves you were out of the country throughout the entire run of the exhibition - or else!'" she quipped in a recent e-mail. "Extra points will be given to those who attend the opening reception."

Sperber's been on a roll in the last year, from highly touted shows at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and a current Mass MoCA extravaganza to big splashes at all the major art fairs last winter - much of it with material set for display in the upcoming retrospective in Woodstock. Her work is original and as instantly iconic as anything to come up in the contemporary art world in recent years. She recreates easily recognizable images - in the past, classic cultural references such as Vermeer or Velazquez paintings, via unlikely means: hooked rugs, thread spool installations, beads.

The works in the latest show in Woodstock will feature Sperber's witty takes on 1960s iconography, from a walk-through bead-curtain VW Love Bus to more recent versions of Star Trek beam-me-up pods. All are conceptually right-on, technically perfect in execution and loads of fun both to see and to interact with.

"I am doing this exhibition because I live here and want to share this body of work with my friends and community," the artist says of her decision to make room in an ever-busying schedule to show locally. "I also think visitors to Woodstock will enjoy the upbeat 1960s theme."

"Devorah Sperber: Flash Back" opens with a reception for the artist this Saturday, August 2 from 5 to 7 p.m., and then stays up through September 9. Sperber will give a gallery talk on her work at 5:30 p.m. next Saturday, August 9.

For more on the Kleinert/James Arts Center, visit or call (845) 679-2079. For more on Sperber, including her other current and upcoming exhibitions and commissions, visit

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