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b. 1992, Toronto, CA
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, US

Stephanie Temma Hier playfully represents objects and subjects of consumption. Most of her works are comprised of near-realist oil paintings enveloped by ceramic sculptural motifs. Within them, fragments of human and animal bodies are juxtaposed with the objects they ingest, from food to footwear, asking viewers to linger over our peculiarly complicated visual and affective relationships with them. Hier’s absurdist compositional logic creates visceral associations between entities that do not normally belong together: snails and subway sandwiches; salmon steaks and sneakers; gummy bears and raw, butchered meat. Hier’s works capture viewers in their perversion-through-juxtaposition: her remediation of images is at once sumptuous and grotesque, intuitively comprehensible yet uncongenial to familiar feelings.

Hier’s paintings recall seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish Vanitas paintings, which depict congested still-lives filled with luxury goods, from pearls and tableware to food and skulls. These still lives, like Hier’s oil paintings, are rendered meticulously, with particular attention paid to the sensory evocations of texture. Also akin to Hier’s works, Vanitas paintings are less about abundance and delectation, and more about the inevitable decay of all material matter. But the somber moralism of this genre explodes in Hier’s hands, which instead generate a regime of images that are closer to Videodrome than to Vanitas. Hier begins each work by constructing the ceramics, embracing the quirks formed by the volatility of the kiln along the way. Some of her glazes bubble and foam in the kiln, catalyzing in a matte surface rippled with circular ditches like magma, coral, or a craterous moon as a result from the firing process. All of her paintings are encased in irregular, sometimes bodily ceramic sculpture. These sculptures contain, overwhelm, and entrap the paintings as much as—probably more than—they frame them.

Stephanie Temma Hier (b. 1992, Toronto, CA; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, US) holds a BFA from Ontario College of Art and Design University. She has had solo shows with Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles; Bradley Ertaskiran, Montreal; Gallery Vacancy, Shanghai; Franz Kaka, Toronto; Franz Kaka, Miami; Y2K Group, New York; David Dale Gallery, Glasgow; Downs and Ross, New York; NEOCHROME, New York; NEOCHROME, Turin; and Johannes Vogt Gallery, New York.

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