SOUTHFIRST 60 N6th Street   Brooklyn, NY  11211




Jacob Stein & Ellen Takata

30 June Š 23 July, 2006



SOUTHFIRST gallery is proud to present BADLANDS, a two-person show of sculpture, a video and new paintings.  The exhibition features work by Jacob Stein and Ellen Takata and is on view from June 30 Š July 23. 


Sometimes getting away means watching movies. Ellen TakataÕs oil on linen paintings sketch out scenes derived from watching Asian b-movies and arthouse staples. A Fassbinder femme becomes the muse for a gestural composition. Two Samurai detectives peer out from behind a hill. The woman in the dunes serves her captive tea. The paintings make use of simple and direct lines to sketch out architectural spaces with a practiced looseness, but it is when they focus in on details that the pieces really gel. The flicker of a painted eye and the shine on a painted photograph are among such moments. Takata here judiciously inserts the poignant excess of meaning that film and photography carry, without the tedium that working from photographs can imply. They are deft odes to escapism. 


Jacob Stein spent four months working in the California desert to ready this project, which was shown as part of the event High Desert Test Sites 5 in June. Finding inspiration in a local landowner, Justus Motter, Stein learned from him the stories that seemed to haunt his forty acres of desert.  These large-scale plaster and wire sculptures are prototypes for those he built on-site in California. There is a cactus in bloom, a bleached-out Joshua tree, and a tall, white teepee. A video documents the tour Jacob and the man gave of the land. SteinÕs sculptures stand in like ghosts for MotterÕs memories, and mark off sites for storytelling about geodesic domes, the blooming desert, and nude modeling against the American flag. The gallery sculptures are ephemeral transmissions from MotterÕs home and experience in Pioneertown.


Ellen Takata completed a certificate in painting at GoldsmithÕs College, London, and received a MasterÕs from Harvard University in East Asian Studies. She lives and works in Cambridge, MA. Jacob Stein received an MFA from Columbia University in 2005. He lives and works in Brooklyn.


SOUTHFIRST is located on 60 N6th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Gallery hours: Fri, Sat & Sun 1-6 PM and by appointment. Subway: L train to Bedford Avenue. For more information, please contact us at 718 599 4884 or




60 N6th Street Brooklyn, NY 11211

phone/fax 718 599 4884