Working across video, sculpture, and performance, Virginia Lee Montgomery interrogates the relationship between physical and psychic structures and the uncanny materiality of lived experience.
Virginia Lee Montgomery, CUT COPY SPHINX, 2018 (still). 4K digital video, sound, color; 3:30 min. Courtesy the artist
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In her meticulously constructed videos, VLM conjures a surreal and idiosyncratic visual vocabulary, frequently populated by oozing cheese Danishes, animate ponytails, and manicured hands. Her practice bears the influence of her work as a graphic facilitator, a job for which she travels the country to diagram the development of ideas at group meetings and conferences, often for corporate clients. In her work as an artist, VLM turns this skill, which she describes as “mind map scribing,” inwards, rendering the contours of her own subconscious and the logic of her dreams and memories.
In the selection of videos on view, certain visual motifs—revolving drills, video glitches, prodding digits, reaching limbs, and dripping viscous liquids—recur in different contexts. Collectively, these forms and gestures rupture material surfaces, opening up portals to unknown ends.
Virginia Lee Montgomery (b. 1986) is an artist working between Texas and New York, primarily with video, performance, sound, and sculpture. VLM is a current 2018–2019 Socrates Fellow at Socrates Park, NY, and a 2019 member of CRIT GROUP at The Contemporary Austin. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: “HONEY MOON,” Midnight Moment, Times Square Arts, NY (2019); “PONY COCOON,” False Flag, NY (2019); “The 2018–2019 Socrates Annual,” Socrates Sculpture Park, NY; “CRASH TEST: The Molecular Turn,” La Panacée-MoCo, Montpellier, France (2018); “An unbound knot in the wind,” CSS Bard, Hessel Museum of Art, NY (2018); “OPEN MIND: Selva Aparicio and VLM,” CRUSH Curatorial, NY (2018); “Material Deviance,” SculptureCenter, NY (2017); and “The Particle Accelerator Memorial Project,” Wright Laboratory, Physics Department, Yale University, CT (2015). She has been awarded residencies at The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, Wright Laboratory, Coast Time, The Shandaken Project at Storm King, and The Vermont Studio Center. VLM was the recipient of Yale University’s Susan H. Wedon Award (2016) and was a nominee in sculpture for the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship (2016).
“Screens Series: Virginia Lee Montgomery” continues the New Museum’s Screens Series, a platform for the presentation of new video works by emerging contemporary artists, and is organized by Kate Wiener, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Education and Public Engagement.