Molly Springfield, Translation
September 11 through October 17, 2009
Opening reception: Friday, September 11, 5:00 to 8:00 pm

Thomas Robertello Gallery is pleased to present the gallery’s second solo exhibition of work by Washington, DC-based conceptual artist Molly Springfield. Springfield will install the results of a painstaking process that took her two full years to complete: her own “translation,” entirely in the form of drawings, of the first chapter of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

Springfield’s project—which San Francisco Chronicle critic Kenneth Baker called an “irresistible” work “of rare conceptual elegance”—consists of 28 individual drawings of photocopies of sequential pages from the first chapter of the novel, pieced together from every existing English translation. This patchwork results in the repetition and omission of text from page to page, resolving into an incomplete and not-fully-readable rendition of the original.

In addition to confronting the inevitable loss that occurs during the process of translation, Springfield’s work is a meditation on the slipperiness of memory, the transformative power of labor, the materiality of language, and the definition of originality.

The installation will include a mixed-media supplemental work, A Brief Note on the Translation, in which Springfield explores the conceit of playing translator—offering viewers selections from the research and writing that informed her work. In serving the dual purposes of explanatory wall text and artist’s sketchbook, Brief Note underscores the subtle cheekiness inherent in much of Springfield’s work. The text is also intended as the preface for a forthcoming book of the drawings.

Springfield received her MFA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2006. Her recent exhibitions include solo shows at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco, and Mireille Mosler, Ltd., New York, as well as group shows in New York, London, Miami, and Washington, DC. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art Papers, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post. She was a finalist for the Janet and Walter Sondheim Prize in 2008 and 2009, and received a DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities/ National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2009.


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Molly Springfield

September 11 - October 17, 2009

Installation Views



Molly Springfield, Untitled, 2009


Molly Springfield, Untitled, 2009

Untitled (detail)

Molly Springfield, Untitled (detail), 2009

Translation, Page 10

Molly Springfield, Translation, Page 10, 2009


Molly Springfield, Translation, 2008

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