FROM KOLAJ 32
Public and Private Performance in the Collages of Rebecca Steiner
Rebecca Steiner’s collages are in dialogue with American pop culture, excess and mass consumption: the stayholds from which she constructs environments and takes candid snapshots of the figures presented. Contextualizing images of fifties and sixties Americana for today’s audience, Steiner reinforces the idea that both the public and private spheres are still oppressive in their socially-condoned definitions, leaving very little room for experimentation, openness and the marginalized. Each collage serves as a mise-en-scène, where a singular moment in time culminates in a dramatic, active performance between and amongst the figures. Together, the collages put into conversation the illusory nature of gender, the tension between banality, fringe and high culture, and engage themselves with identity politics. The interiors and exteriors composed in her work act as stages where figures perform typical and atypical definitions of gender and sexuality, existing with a limitless agency only possible in Steiner’s world. Madeleine Rhondeau offers a review of Steiner’s collage in Kolaj 32.
Each collage serves as a mise-en-scène, where a singular moment in time culminates in a dramatic, active performance between and amongst the figures. Together, the collages put into conversation the illusory nature of gender, the tension between banality, fringe and high culture, and engage themselves with identity politics.by Madeleine Rhondeau
Rebecca Steiner is a collage artist living and working in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Her work is informed by her experience as an art historian. Her professional experience has included positions at Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Alice Adam Ltd, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Research Institute. She has also worked as a curator and exhibition manager. She created and operated the crowdsourced photography project, “The Average Joe Photo Show” with the Lori Warner Studio in the early 2010s. Steiner’s work was featured in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Chester (Connecticut) Gallery Postcard Shows. See more on Instagram @beccacsteiner.
Madeleine Rhondeau-Rhodes is a collage artist and painter based in Charlottesville, Virginia. She came to know Steiner’s work through Kolaj Institute’s Curating Collage Workshop in 2020. She received Dual Degrees in Historic Preservation and Studio Art, with a minor in Urban Studies, from the University of Mary Washington. Madeleine’s first solo show, “siren x silence” was presented at Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville in 2018. She was an artist-in-residence at the Maple Terrace Artist Residency Program in Brooklyn in 2019. This residency led to her abstract paintings being shown in three group shows at Paul Booth’s Last Rites Gallery in Manhattan. Learn more at mrhondeau.com.