Cristin Tierney Gallery is pleased to present Leaving Earth, an exhibition of new video work by Mary Lucier. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and she will be present at the reception.

Leaving Earth is a multi-channel video and sound installation inspired by excerpts from the final journal of Lucier’s late husband, the painter Robert Berlind. In this journal, Berlind fearlessly documented his thoughts on his impending death from a terminal illness. His writings reflect his appreciation of life with a remarkable lack of anxiety about the inevitable end—more curiosity than dread.

The imagery in Lucier’s work consists of sequences of protean video and still images filmed in both her domestic and working environments. Most were shot after Berlind’s passing, reflecting the world as she experienced it during his final days and after. Berlind’s terse epigraphs appear throughout as white text on a black background, serving as evocative companions to the flow of images in Leaving Earth.

pictures already formed more remembrance than presence.

Lucier describes this nine-channel installation as one where "words, pictures, and sound become interchangeable, not serving as descriptions but as a rumination on reality and a form of coping." Unlike much of Lucier’s earlier work, it does not follow a synchronous and sequential internal structure, instead allowing for random juxtapositions, repetitive thoughts, and the possibility of chaos to occur, reflecting the potential disarray in the dying man's mind. The pictorial narrative in Leaving Earth is underscored by Berlind's description of his mental state:

a succession of discontinuous moments occur then disappear without the elemental structure of sequence And yet . . . I forget to fear death

Mary Lucier (b. 1944, Bucyrus, OH) has been noted for her contributions to the form of multi-monitor, multi- channel video installation since the early 1970s. Her work before her video introduction was largely concerned with the manipulation of the black and white image through a graphic performative process. She also produced several live performances with the feminist video collective Red White Yellow and Black (along with Shigeko Kubota, Cecilia Sandoval, and Charlotte Warren) at the original Kitchen in 1972 and '73. Archival materials from this collective were also exhibited in 2023. Her latest multi-channel video installation Leaving Earth will be exhibited at the Catskill Art Space in the summer of 2024.

Lucier's video installations have been shown in major museums and galleries around the world. Many now reside in important collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Columbus Museum of Art, OH; and the National Academy of Design, NY, among others.

She has also produced a significant body of single-channel works that have been screened in museums and festivals worldwide. From the austere black-and-white experiments of the 1970s to recent studies of Japanese Buddhist ceremonies and Dakota Sioux dances, these works acknowledge the influence of both avant-garde and documentary practices in American art and cinema.