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Rebecca Niederlander’s sculptures have always reflected an interest in the processes of perception and interpretation, and in the discovery of particulars that often go unnoticed in the rush of events. Though early forms often sat solidly grounded, her later work regularly hovers, floats, or hangs suspended above a surface. The most recent Family Tree series originated in an installation featuring a room-sized vellum mobile that she describes as an attempt to reflect on individual's place in the continuum. All elements in A Family Tree are connected, each bit's activity modulated by the activity of the whole. After creating that piece, Niederlander began to experiment with wire because of more complex and abstracted forms that medium makes possible. Also fascinating is the relationship between the lines of the wire forms and their alter-ego shadows.

Many suspended sculptures, and mobiles in particular, lack manageability. They start from a place of equilibrium, but from that point on it’s their nature to shift, to become, to reinvent. Their mutability also makes them a kind of dream space into which viewers can enter or onto which they can project their own discoveries and interpretations. The protean qualities mean that their creator can plan only so far in terms of how they will evolve. She must let go and allow them to find their own form. In this way, a mobile can be seen as a placeholder for the experience of living, perhaps in particular for the process of parenting (an identity Niederlander is still acclimating herself to).
Rebecca Niederlander would like to extend a thank you to the Durfee Foundation
for proving funds through their Artist Resources for Completion grant program.

A Phantom Galleries LA project
“Mobiles are sensitive symbols of Nature, of that profligate Nature which squanders pollen while unloosing a flight of a thousand butterflies; of that inscrutable Nature which refuses to reveal to us whether it is a blind succession of causes and effects, or the timid, hesitant, groping development of an idea."

Jean-Paul Sartre, writing about Alexander Calder’s Mobiles in 1946