SOUTHFIRST 60 N6th Street  Brooklyn, NY  11211     ph 718 599 4884





Hilary Harnischfeger and Fabienne Lasserre

19 September – 26 October, 2008


SOUTHFIRST is proud to present THE SPLIT WALL, a two-person exhibition of new works by HILARY HARNISCHFEGER and FABIENNE LASSERRE. The exhibition will be on view at the gallery from September 19th through October 26th. There will be a reception held for the artists on September 19th at 7 PM.


Lasserre’s felt- and linen-based sculptures and Harnischfeger’s carved paper, ink-stained, plastic- and mineral- encrusted tableaux share an unconventional set of influences which incorporate both the legacy of the body-conscious post-minimal work of the 1970s and the thought experiments in classic science fiction. Feminist thought flourished in both post-minimal American art and American science fiction: artists Eva Hesse, Lee Bontecou and authors Ursula LeGuin and Octavia Butler might be the matriarchs of this exhibition. The works in “The Split Wall” explore propositions through material experiments. Lasserre asks, “what if sight was not of primary importance to an artwork?” and the ensuing series of tactile sculptures emerge from this question. They occupy the gallery floor, walls and ceiling and hang pendulous or pustulate from an armature which cites-to-pervert the traditional painted square. Harnischfeger’s works are carved out of layer upon layer of stained watercolor paper. They evoke landscapes from another world replete with valleys laden with minerals and glass. With an almost scale-shifting attention to detail, Harnischfeger’s constructions are a far cry from Robert Smithson’s explorations of geology or minerals-as-material, yet they retain a kinship to his terms of interest and through the cool, unearthly quality evoked by her use of materials. Her techniques are based on the often gendered actions of “staining” and “cutting.” Lasserre and Harnischfeger remind us that there is pleasure and play in material experimentation, but also remind us of the utopian possibility of critique and subversion inherent in the romance of feminist science fiction.


HILARY HARNISCHFEGER and FABIENNE LASSERRE both live and work in Brooklyn, NY. Harnischfeger was born in Melbourne, Australia and graduated with an MFA from Columbia in 2003. Most recently her work was on view at Neverwork gallery, where it received notice from both The New York Times and from New York Magazine. Lasserre was born in Ottowa, Canada. An assistant professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and a recent recipient of the Special Editions Residency Program at the Lower East Side Printshop, she will be travelling on fellowship to La Curtidurďa, Oaxaca, Mexico beginning in December.


SOUTHFIRST is located on 60 N6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 PM and by appointment. Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue.  For more information, please contact Carolyn Park at 718 599 4884 or