Cristin Tierney Gallery is pleased to present Slightly Surreal Suburbia

a two-person exhibition with Joan Linder and Maureen O’Leary

For as long as suburbs have existed, life in their quiet communities has been a subject of intense interest. They are governed by particular rules of conduct and social expectations that set them apart from cities. Relationships among neighbors involve a strange commingling of secrecy and voyeurism. And underneath their ostensibly calm surfaces there is often a wealth of eccentricity and darkness hiding, as explored through many notable films, television shows, works of photography, books and more from the mid-20th century to today.

Linder and O’Leary live in Buffalo and Mt. Sinai, respectively, and like so many of us they have experienced life in suburban areas. In the last year, the two artists became deeply enmeshed with their surroundings as the pandemic curbed most travel and they found themselves spending more time at home. Slightly Surreal Suburbia showcases new works by both women devoted to the sights and people in the ‘burbs; together they are a consideration of domestic life outside of the metropolitan sphere.

Joan Linder has had a lifelong obsession with the passage of time, which she channels through inordinately detailed ink drawings and sculptures made from paper, foam and duct tape

Many of Linder’s works are life-size, forming near-perfect replicas of actual objects or people she has encountered. In Slightly Surreal Suburbia, Linder presents objects that capture the anxiety we all felt in our homes in 2020. They approximate the items they represent, but close looking reveals small imperfections and touches of the artist’s hand. Isolation Orders is a to-scale drawing of a letter Linder received with the governor’s state-wide order to shelter in place in March 2020. Wet Ones is a slightly-off reproduction of a container of antibacterial hand wipes, created painstakingly with slices of tape to approximate the in-demand good.