Posts Tagged ‘gallery website

12
Jul
09

Review: ‘Double Infinitives’ by Marco Fusinato at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 25th June – 25th July, 2009

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Marco Fusinato. 'Double Infinitive 3' 2009

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Marco Fusinato
‘Double Infinitive 3′
2009

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Marco Fusinato. 'Double infinitive I' 2009

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Marco Fusinato
‘Double infinitive 1′
2009

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‘Double Infinitives’ by Marco Fusinato at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne is an excellent exhibition of large UV ink on aluminium images sourced by Fusinato from the print media.

The images are made up of a dot pattern familiar to those who have examined photographs in the print media closely. Larger and smaller clusters of dots form the light and shade of the image. As you move closer to the works they dissolve into blocks of dots and become and optical illusion like Op Art from the 1960s. Fusinato contrasts this dot structure with the inclusion of flat panels of black ink to the left and right hand side of the images. The section lines that run through the images (for they are not one single image but made up of panels) also adds to the optical nature of the work as the lines cut the conflagrations, literally stitching the seams/scenes together.

Each image contains an individual holding a rock enclosed in the milieu and detritus of a riot; the figures are grounded in the earth and surrounded by fire but in their obscurity, in the veiling of their eyes, the figures seem present but absent at one and the same time. They become ghosts of the fire.

Fire consumes the bodies. The almost cut out presence of the figures, their hands clutching, throwing, saluting become mute. Here the experience of the sound, colour and movement of an actual riot is silenced in the flatness and smoothness of the images. The images possess the intensity of a newspaper reality ‘blown up’ to a huge scale by Fusinato (see the installation photograph below to get an idea of the effect). The punctum of the riot, that prick of consciousness that Barthes so liked, is translated into a silenced studium of the aluminium surface; an aural history (the sound)/oral history (the telling of the story) trapped in the structure of silence.

There is a double jeopardy – the dissolution of the image into dots and the disintegration of the body into fire. In one of the images the upraised arm and hand of one of the rioters holds a rock with what appears to be a figure on it, surrounded by fire. To me the arm turned into one of the burning Twin Towers with smoke and fire pouring from it (see the first photograph in the installation photograph below).

My only concern about the images were the black panels, perhaps too obvious a tool for the purpose the artist intended. Maybe the needed some small texture, like a moire pattern to reference the contours of a map and continue the topographical and optical theme. Perhaps they just needed to be smaller or occasionally placed as thin strips down the actual image itself but these are small quibbles. Overall this is an fantastic exhibition that I enjoyed immensely. The images are literally ripped from the matrix of time and space and become the dot dot dot of the addendum. What Fusinato does so excellently is to make us pause and stare, to recognize the flatness of these figures and the quietness of violence that surrounds us.

Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

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Music – Noise  - Silence

Flatness – Advertising – Earth – Fire

Rock – Space – Memory

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Marco Fusinato. 'Double Infinitive 4' 2009

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Marco Fusinato
‘Double Infinitive 4′
2009

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Installation of Marco Fusinato 'Double Infinitives' exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

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Installation of Marco Fusinato ‘Double Infinitives’ exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

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“DOUBLE INFINITIVES

“Unheard music is better than heard” (Greek proverb of late antiquity).

“That music be heard is not essential – what it sounds like may not be what it is” (Charles Ives, Essays Before a Sonata).

“The proposition of Jacques Attali’s Noise is different. He says that while noise is a deadly weapon, silence is death.”

David Rattray, How I Became One of the Invisible. Semiotext(e), 1992.

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The explosive communal act of rioting is most commonly delivered to an audience suspended in the stillness and silence of a photographic image. Noise is not removed in this process, it is almost amplified: the sound and action that deliver this singularly captured moment into existence are infinite, as all things remain while they are imagined, before they are anchored down by express articulation.

Photographic representation can easily be accused of subverting the truth of events, not because what is seen in the image has not transpired, but because static images leave so much space around them for multiple narratives to be constructed. The still image is totally contingent on the consciousness that confronts it. By contrast, the near-totality of videos can give too much away …

Sourced by Fusinato from print media published in the last few years, these images of rioting all contain an individual clutching a rock, bathed in the refractory glow of a nearby fire. The image has become prototypical, so much so that it lacks the sensation of spontaneity requisite to produce a riot. (Apropos to this predictability, Fusinato would check global newspapers after every forum or conference of global financial authorities, often finding the image he was looking for).

Double Infinitives is a succinct allegory for the reluctance to compromise comfort overpowering radical impulses. Conversations suggest this is a conflict frequently experienced by artists. Deprived of a volatile political reality, we experience radicalism through images that act as small ruptures, reminders that the world we live in might be more severely charged than our individual experiences allow. Fusinato’s works flatten these images of volatility onto a smooth slate: they are similar and radiate with the vexed beauty of sameness. A riot is a mad and brutal spectacle, a theatre that is often documented as if it were a play. Hugely expanded in scale and rendered in the suffused gloss of advertising, the real possibility of violence that these works infer deepens the layers of the fiction rather than comprising an indicator of human concern. Those things with which we come into such gentle contact that their thorns barely prick …”

Liv Barrett
June 2009

Text from the Anna Schwartz Gallery website

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Marco Fusinato. 'Double Iinfinitive 2' 2009

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Marco Fusinato
‘Double Iinfinitive 2′
2009

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Marco Fusinato. 'Double Iinfinitive 2' (detail) 2009

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Marco Fusinato
‘Double Iinfinitive 2′ (detail)
2009

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Anna Schwartz Gallery
185 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 12 – 6pm, Saturday 1 – 5pm

Anna Schwartz Gallery website

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23
Jun
09

Exhibition: ‘Fourteen Places to Eat: A Narrative Photographing Rural Culture in the Midwest’ by photographer Kay Westhues at the Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame, Indiana

Exhibition dates: 31st May – 19th July, 2009

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There are some really good photographs on the Kay Westhues ‘Fourteen Places to Eat’ website (under the Archives heading) split into categories such as Commerce, Domestic, Landscape, Patriotism, People, Places to Eat and Structures. It’s well worth your time looking through these excellent photographs!

There is an interview with Kay Westhues on the Daily Yonder website.

All photographs © Kay Westhues used under Creative Commons 2.5 License with proper attribution.

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Kay Westheus. 'CSX railroad building, Walkerton' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘CSX railroad building, Walkerton’
2005

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Kay Westheus. 'Man with patriotic cast, Original Famous Fish of Stroh' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘Man with patriotic cast, Original Famous Fish of Stroh’
2005

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Kay Westhues. 'Knox laundromat' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘Knox laundromat’
2005

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The Snite Museum of Art announces the opening of the exhibition: ‘Fourteen Places to Eat: a Narrative: Photographing Rural Culture in the Midwest’, opening on Sunday, May 31,2009.

Kay Westhues is a photographer who is interested in documenting the ways in which rural tradition and history are interpreted and transformed in the present day. Kay shares her intention for this series of work:

“For the past five years I have been working on a series of photographs depicting rural culture in Indiana and the Midwest. This project was inspired by my memories of growing up on a farm in Walkerton, Indiana, and observing first hand the shifting cultural identity that has occurred over time and through changing economic development. I moved back to Walkerton in order to help care for my aging parents in 2001.

These photos mirror my personal history, but I am also capturing a people’s history grounded in a sense of place. My intention is to celebrate rural life, without idealizing it.

The overall theme since the project’s inception is the effect of the demise of local economies that have historically sustained rural communities. Many of my images contain the remains of an earlier time, when locally owned stores and family farms were the norm. Today chain stores and agribusiness are prevalent in rural communities. These communities are struggling to thrive in the global economy, and my images reflect that reality …

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Kay Westheus. 'Chicken bingo, Francesville Fall Festival' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘Chicken bingo, Francesville Fall Festival’
2005

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Kay Westheus. 'Patriotic hammers ($3.00)' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘Patriotic hammers ($3.00)’
2005

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Kay Westheus. 'Parked trailer, Ligonier' 2006

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Kay Westhues
‘Parked trailer, Ligonier’
2006

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Kay Westheus. Lunch at the Crockpot, Walkerton (The Young and the Restless) 2007

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Kay Westhues
‘Lunch at the Crockpot, Walkerton (The Young and the Restless)’
2007

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“Most recently I have focused on the complex relationship between farmers and domesticated animals. I make many of my images at Animal Swap Meets and sale barns, places where animals are bought and sold. Family farms are quickly being replaced by large-scale food production, and these events still draw smaller farmers and the local people who support them.”

Why fourteen places to eat?

“One of my biggest complaints after moving to Walkerton was that there were not enough places to eat out. Or, rather, practically no places to eat out. So I was happy when news arrived that a new restaurant was opening there. Imagine my surprise when I read a letter to the editor in the local paper against the new restaurant. The letter stated we already had enough places to eat in this town. The writer counted a total of fourteen places to eat, which included four restaurants, three gas stations, four bars, a truck stop, a convenience mart, and a bowling alley.”

Text from the Artdaily.org website

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Kay Wesheus. 'Momence Speed Wash, Momence IL' 2007

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Kay Weshues
‘Momence Speed Wash, Momence IL’
2007

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Kay Westheus. 'Mary Ann Rubio, Family Cafe, Knox' 2007

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Kay Westhues
‘Mary Ann Rubio, Family Cafe, Knox’
2007

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The Snite Museum of Art
at University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

Opening hours:
Tues – Wed 10 – 4pm, Thurs – Sat 10 – 5pm, Sunday 1 – 5pm

The Snite Museum of Art website

Kay Westhues ‘Fourteen Places to Eat’ website

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18
Jun
09

Opening 2: ‘In-Sight’ by Lisa Roet at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

Opening: 17th June, 2009

Exhibition dates: 17th June – 11th July, 2009

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Another excellent opening this time of the work of the delightful Lisa Roet. If you visit the gallery don’t forget the upstairs exhibition space with further work by the artist including a marvelous large bronze Orangutan Foot. Review to follow.

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'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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Opening night crowd in front of the works ‘Target’ (2009) by Lisa Roet at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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The artist Lisa Roet in front of one of her works ‘Cross Bones’ (2009)

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'In-Sight' by Lisa Roet opening at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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'Orangutan Foot' (2007/08) by Lisa Roet at the opening of 'In-Sight' exhibition at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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‘Orangutan Foot’ (2007/08) by Lisa Roet at the opening of ‘In-Sight’ exhibition at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne

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roet-i

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Karen Woodbury Gallery

4, Albert Street, Richmond, Vic 3121
Opening hours: Wed – Sat 11-5pm

Karen Woodbury Gallery website

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17
Jun
09

Opening 1: Gareth Sansom at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

Opening: 17th June 2009

Exhibition dates: 17th June – 4th July, 2009

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A very busy opening at John Buckley Gallery in Richmond for the paintings of Gareth Sansom. Nice to meet the artist and catch up with artist Gavin Brown and manager of Abbotsford Convent Brenton Geyer. A big thank you to Daniel for allowing me to take the photographs!

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Gareth Sansom opening at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

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Gareth Sansom opening at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

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Opening night crowd with the artist Gareth Sansom third from right

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Opening night crowd in front of Gareth Sansom's painting 'Alchemy' 2008/09

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Opening night crowd in front of Gareth Sansom’s painting ‘Alchemy’ 2008/09

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From left to right Brenton Geyer, the artist of the night Gareth Sansom, artist Gavin Brown and Jenny Rees

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From left to right Brenton Geyer, the artist of the night Gareth Sansom, artist Gavin Brown and Jenny Rees

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Gareth Sansom opening at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

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Gareth Sansom opening at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

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John Buckley Gallery

8 Albert St, Richmond VIC 3121 Australia
Gallery hours: 11 – 5 pm, Wednesday – Saturday

John Buckley Gallery website

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01
May
09

Review: ‘triestement (more-is u thrill-o)’ exhibition by Domenico De Clario at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 22nd April – 9th May 2009

 

Maurice Utrillo. 'Renoir's Garden' 1909-10

 

Maurice Utrillo
‘Renoir’s Garden’
1909-10

 

 

Domenico de Clario
‘u (renoir’s garden)’
2008/09

 

 

“Is there any limit, I thought, to the kinds of shadows that might be transmuted into light? And is this because the key component of the nature of shadow is its deep longing for a transmutation to light?

As a consequence of these thoughts I arrived at the question that animates the core of this current project; what, I asked myself, might the original shadow-substance Utrillo experienced and subsequently transmutes into the paintings we known, have looked like? What shadow images did Utrillo first see, or even imagine, before he transmuted them into colour? …

Utrillo must have believed that the outer world of coloured light belonged exclusively to others, for he never succeeded in releasing himself from the dark inner shadows that engulfed him. Though he struggled much to reach the light he accepted shadow as constituting his world and worked ceaselessly to offer us images that reflected this side’s plenitude.

Perhaps the luminous surfaces of his paintings functioned as the thin membrane that separates the outer world of cacophonously coloured light from the velvety grey inner world of the monotic anxiety he inhabited. Upon that thought the momentousness of his gift became apparent to me …

For the purposes of this present project I believe that the shadow substance laying beneath the architecture of Utrillo’s streetscapes existed within the artist long bedore his paintings came into being. This non-substance generated the appearance of matter on the paintings’ surfaces and more significantly it gradually came to contain the spirit of his Montmarte-body.

The process of removing matter results in an obvious absence of substance but paradoxically this leads me to feel that here, under all this discarded visible matter, an invisible substance that has always contained more than matter awaits to be revealed. This leads to the provisional conclusion that the primal trace of normally unseen shadow is far richer than any material constituting appearance, containing as it does infinitely more substance than appearance.

Astonishing paradox; infinite substance can only be discovered once all matter is removed.”

Text from the catalogue essay by Domenico de Clario

 

Domenico de Clario. 'l (le lapin agile - snow coming)' 2008/09

 

Domenico de Clario
‘l (le lapin agile – snow coming)’
2008/09

 

Installation view of 'triestement (more-is u thrill-o)' by Domenico De Clario at John Buckley Gallery

 

Installation view of 'triestement (more-is u thrill-o)' by Domenico De Clario at John Buckley Gallery

 

Installation views of ‘triestement (more-is u thrill-o)’ by Domenico De Clario at John Buckley Gallery

 

 

Based on the music of melancholy that inhabits the shadows of the paintings of Montmarte by the French artist Maurice Utrillo, Domenico de Clario’s exhibition of paintings at John Buckley Gallery in Melbourne is a major achievement. This is a superlative exhibition of focused, resonant work beautifully and serenely installed in the gallery space.

The exhibition features seven small and seven large oil and acrylic on canvas paintings that envelop the viewer in a velvety quietness, an intense stillness accompanied by ambient music composed by de Clario himself. All fourteen paintings are reinterpretations of works by Utrillo picked at random by de Clario that strip away surface matter to reveal the shadow substance that lays at the anxious heart of Utrillo’s meta/physical body of work (Utrillo was an alcoholic at fourteen and spent numerous periods in sanatoriums). When de Clario was fifteen he was fascinated by a small book on Utrillo and found that his paintings reminded him of his childhood, growing up in the town of Trieste. Recently he noticed that the word ‘triestement’ was used to mean, essentially, an investigation of sadness, of melancholy and started an investigation into the life and work of Utrillo. From this dialogue the paintings for the exhibition have emerged as de Clario found the ‘more is’ of Utrillo, the anima of his presence within the work.

 

Maurice Utrillo. 'Paris Street' 1914

 

Maurice Utrillo
‘Paris Street’
1914

 

Domenico de Clario. 'r (rue ravignan - le bateau lavoir)' 2008/09

 

Domenico de Clario
‘r (rue ravignan – le bateau lavoir)’
2008/09

 

Domenico de Clario. 'l (le lapin agile and rue du mont cenis - snow receding)' 2008/09

 

Domenico de Clario
‘l (le lapin agile and rue du mont cenis – snow receding)’
2008/09

 

Domenico de Clario. 'o (la grande maison blanche – snow clouds massing)' 2008/09

 

Domenico de Clario
‘o (la grande maison blanche – snow clouds massing)’
2008/09

 

 

The small abstract paintings (such as ‘renoir’s garden’, above top) are dark and miasmic, vaporous emanations of atmosphere that contain traces of Utrillo’s lifelong battle with the black dog but it is the seven large paintings facing each other in the main gallery space that are at the heart of de Clario’s project. They are magnificent.

Painted in a limited colour palette of ochres, greys and blacks the works vibrate with energy. Cezanne like spatial representations are abstracted and the paint bleeds across the canvas forming a maze of buildings. Walls and hedges loom darkly over roadways, emanations of heads and figures float in the picture plane and the highlight white of snow hovers like a spectral figure above buildings. These are elemental paintings where the shadow has become light and the light is shadow, meanderings of the soul in space. In the painting ‘i (the house of hector berlioz – night)’ below, the single dark line of the house rises from the plain; the shadowy haze of recognition sits in the subconscious like the trace of our own mortality. My mind made an association with the modernist photograph by Paul Strand of the church at Taos with the looming bulk of the ramparts: it’s funny how things just click into place.

 

Maurice Utrillo. 'Berlioz House' 1910

 

Maurice Utrillo
‘Berlioz House’
1910

 

Postcard of Hector Berlioz House nd

 

Anonymous
‘Postcard of Hector Berlioz House’
nd

 

Domenico de Clario. 'i (the house of hector berlioz - night)' 2008/09

 

Domenico de Clario
‘i (the house of hector berlioz – night)’
2008/09

 

Paul Strand. Inverted colour burn of his photograph 'Church, Ranchos de Taos' New Mexico 1932

 

Paul Strand
Inverted colour burn of his photograph ‘Church, Ranchos de Taos’ New Mexico 1932

 

 

“The watergaw, the faint rainbow glimmering in chittering light, provides a sort of epiphany, and MacDiarmid connects the shimmer and weakness and possible revelation in the light behind the drizzle with the indecipherable look he received from his father on his deathbed … Each expression, each cadence, each rhyme is as surely and reliably in place as a stone on a hillside.”

Seamus Heaney1

 

To paint these works de Clario was open and receptive to the idea of the letting go. In the wonderfully erudite catalogue essay he says he felt like he was standing under a waterfall experiencing the joyful bliss of substance, material, surface, shadow, blandness, light, plenitude and triestement while acknowledging that he could never capture them and that their value could only be fully understood once he abandoned any thought of possessing them. Like Seamus Heaney in the quotation above de Clario experienced the glimmering in chittering light, the possible revelation in the light behind the drizzle (of the shadow) and he then paints the trace of Utrillo’s subconscious anima, the indecipherable look of his triestement. de Clario feels the fluid relationship between substance and appearance; he understands that Utrillo is embedded in the position of each building and stone, in the cadences and rhymes of the paintings of Montmarte. de Clario interprets this knowledge in a Zen like rendition of shadow substance in his paintings. Everything has it’s place without possession of here and there, dark and light.

For my part it was my soul responding to the canvases. I was absorbed into their fabric. As in the dark night of the soul my outer shell gave way to an inner spirituality stripped of the distance between viewer and painting. I felt communion with this man, Utrillo, with this art, de Clario, that brought a sense of revelation in the immersion, like a baptism in the waters of dark light. For art this is a fantastic achievement. Highly recommended.

M Bunyan

 

 

John Buckley Gallery

8 Albert St, Richmond VIC 3121 Australia
Gallery hours: 11 – 5 pm, Wednesday – Saturday

John Buckley Gallery website

 

1. Heaney, Seamus. The Redress of Poetry. London: Faber and Faber, 1995, pp. 107-108.

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26
Apr
09

Exhibition: ‘Charting the Canyon: Photographs by Klett and Wolfe’ at Phoenix Art Museum

Exhibition dates: 21st March – 12th July, 2009

 

An interesting concept but I’m not entirely sure that the images are successful. Some work better than others. Perhaps it is not necessary for there to be an absolute registration across time and space, the continuation of a horizon line for example. The famous photographic collages by David Hockney are a case in point. It doesn’t matter when the images were made, whether there is a second or a century between compositions. The camera and the artist are always selective, the camera always privileging one view over another view: all images are therefore constructions. Hockney pushes the boundaries of these constructions whereas I don’t think these images do to anywhere near the same extent. There are some vaguely interesting videos on the Phoenix Art Museum website about the starting point, discovery, process and collaboration for the work.

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe. 'Rock formations on the Road to Lee's Ferry, Arizona' 2008

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe.
‘Rock formations on the Road to Lee’s Ferry, Arizona’
2008.

Left inset: William Bell. ‘Plateau North of the Colorado River near the Paria’ 1872 (courtesy National Archives)
Right inset: William Bell ‘Headlands North of the Colorado River’ 1872 (courtesy National Archives)

 

 “Arizona’s Grand Canyon – natural wonder, national park, tourist attraction, sacred land – is perhaps the world’s best “photo op.” The collaborative photographic team of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe have set out to explore this celebrated place of dramatic beauty, and Phoenix Art Museum is proud to be the first to show a comprehensive look at their powerful, thoughtful, and playful approach to the Grand Canyon.

Drawn from two seasons of fieldwork, Charting the Canyon will include about 30 photographs ranging from a modest 20 by 20-inch print to a panorama nearly 10 feet wide. Mark Klett, a Regents Professor at Arizona State University, and Byron Wolfe, a former student of Klett’s who is now a Lantis’ University Professor teaches at California State University at Chico, have been interested in rephotographing historic images since their collaboration began in 1997.

Now the pair combines their own color photographs with imagery by 19th-century photographer J. K. Hillers and artist William Holmes and by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, who worked at the Canyon in the early 20th century. Klett and Wolfe respond to the historic images and the Canyon itself, yielding artworks that reconsider an icon, challenge how we perceive the land, and bring a new perspective to its portrayals.

Charting the Canyon offers visual delights: the humorous layering of a 19th-century drawing with contemporary photographic details, the extension of an Ansel Adams view into a serene panorama, and the illusion of three-dimensions with a stereopticon viewer built for the twenty-first century, among others to be discovered in this unique exhibition.”

Text from the Phoenix Art Museum website

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe. 'Seventy-one Years after Edward Weston's Storm, Arizona from Marble Canyon Trading Post' 2007

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe
‘Seventy-one Years after Edward Weston’s Storm, Arizona from Marble Canyon Trading Post’
2007

Left: Edward Weston. ‘Storm, Arizona’ 1941 (courtesy of the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson).

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe. 'Desert View: from the window of the Watchtower gift shop' 2008

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe
‘Desert View: from the window of the Watchtower gift shop’
2008

 

“In 2007, Mark Klett, a Regents Professor at Arizona State University, and Byron Wolfe, a former student of Klett’s and now a Lantis’ University Professor at California State University at Chico, headed to the Grand Canyon to re-envision the many images made at the site over the last 150 years. During two summers of field work, they identified the exact locations portrayed in early photographs and drawings. From those geographic points they created new photographs that incorporate the original view. Digital versions of the historic images are inserted within the contemporary photograph, creating combined images that convey the big picture surrounding earlier artists’ depicted view. 

Working collaboratively, Klett and Wolfe challenge one another to invent new ways to integrate the historic images they discover. Charting the Canyon reveals their combined invention, offering provocative ways to think about the land, its history and our role in seeing it.

Charting the Canyon includes 26 photographs ranging from a modest 20 by 20–inch print to a panorama 10 feet wide. Exhibition highlights include: 
The humorous layering of a 19th-century drawing with contemporary photographic details. 
The extension of an Ansel Adams view into a serene panorama. 
The pairing of a black-and-white Edward Weston view with a color image made 66 years later. 
The illusion of three-dimensions with a stereopticon viewer built for the 21st century.”

Text from Artdaily.org website

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe. 'Point Imperial on the Grand Canyon' 2008

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe
‘Point Imperial on the Grand Canyon, 50% Ansel Adams, 50% Red Wall Limestone’
2008

Left: Ansel Adams. ‘Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona’ 1941

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe. 'Panorama from Hopi Point on the Grand Canyon' 2007

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe
‘Panorama from Hopi Point on the Grand Canyon, made over two days extending the view of Ansel Adams’
2007 

Right: Ansel Adams. ‘Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona’ 1941 (Courtesy of the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ)

 

“We’re intentionally using playfulness as a way to extend ideas, a kind of free-form exploration that puts a premium on creative solutions to complex space and time problems. Many of the things we’re trying to do seemed impossible at first – like merging several views of a scene from different times into a continuous space, or extending one photo’s frame to include spaces from multiple vantage points.”

Klett and Wolfes process of inserting historic views within contemporary photographs, or linking a number of different historic views, emphasizes the possibilities of multiple interpretations of a single landscape. If we look at a photograph of the Grand Canyon, we bring to it our own cultural notions, myths, and memories, and read it based on our personal point of view. By bringing together images made throughout time, Klett and Wolfe remind us that any terrain is not only what we see and think about it in this present moment, but it is part of a long evolution of thought and use that includes the past and future, as well. The team’s photographs present time as overlapping layers, much like the stratigraphic rock of the Canyon. This unconventional presentation encourages viewers to see time as a flexible construction.”

Text by Rebecca Senf, Assistant Curator of photography, Phoenix Art Museum from the exhibition brochure

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe. 'Details from the view at Point Sublime on the north rim of the Grand Canyon' 2007

 

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe. 'Details from the view at Point Sublime on the north rim of the Grand Canyon' 2007 (detail)

Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe
‘Details from the view at Point Sublime on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, based on the panoramic drawing by William Holmes (1882)’
2007

Lithograph by William Henry Holmes, 1882. From Clarence Dutton, Atlas to Accompany the Monograph on the Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District. (Courtesy of the Library of Congress).

 

David Hockney. 'Pearblossom Highway., 11 - 18th April 1986 #2' 1986

 

David Hockney
‘Pearblossom Highway., 11 – 18th April 1986 #2′
1986

 

 

Phoenix Art Museum

McDowell Road & Central Avenue
1625 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Opening hours:
Closed Mondays and major holidays
Tuesday, 10am-9pm
Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm
First Friday Evenings, 6-10pm

Phoenix Museum of Art website

Byron Wolfe website

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23
Apr
09

Review: ‘Mark Strizic: Melbourne – A City in Transition (Rare Silver Gelatin Photographs) at Gallery 101, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 8th April – 2nd May 2009

 

Mark Strizic. 'Eastern Market Destruction - 1' 1960

 

Mark Strizic
‘Eastern Market Destruction – 1′
1960

 

“‘Melbourne – A City in Transition’ is a collection of iconic images of Melbourne city life taken with a sympathetic eye for humanist detail. Strizic accurately depicts the joys and hardships experienced in everyday life with a fresh and living memory. He successfully captures the vicarious essence of suburban life. His portrait of Melbourne includes the city, harbour and river banks – streets and trams, pavements, arcades and lanes, stations and bridges, billboards and facades and public sculpture. We see people going about their daily activities – commuting, shopping at leisure, trading, embracing, conversing, reading the newspaper and visiting the beach. Other works record the demolition and construction of building sites and the changing face of Melbourne, both in society and the urban landscape.”

Text from the exhibition flyer

 

“In these eloquent studies of light and shadow, Strizic finds beauty in the commonplace – Melbourne’s desolate lanes, street paving, derelict ferries – adopting interesting camera angles, viewpoints and cropping. Through his images, this visual humanist teaches us to observe, to see our surroundings, perhaps with the intention of stimulating us to a higher level of civilisation.”

Emma Matthews, ‘Mark Strizic, Melbourne: Marvellous to Modern’, to be published by Thames & Hudson in association with the State Library of Victoria, September, 2009.

 

Mark Strizic exhibition at Gallery 101, Melbourne installation view

 

Mark Strizic exhibition at Gallery 101, Melbourne installation view

 

Mark Strizic exhibition at Gallery 101, Melbourne installation views

 

 

msatstpauls1954

 

Mark Strizic
‘At St.Pauls’
1954

 

Mark Strizic. 'Near Spencer Street - 1' 1950

 

Mark Strizic
‘Near Spencer Street – 1′
1950

 

Social Fact and Urban Vision

This is an exhibition by the veteran Australian photographer Mark Strizic that plays like the coda at the end of a piece of music, the pensive full stop at the end of a well read book. There are some stunning highlight photographs among the 139 black and white silver gelatin prints on display, some good photographs and some fairly mundane images and prints. With some judicious editing of the photographs (perhaps by a third), the exhibition could have had a stronger artistic aesthetic and carried the voice of the photographer with greater projection. As it is the exhibition will be popular drawing in the crowds because of the photographs subject matter and their appeal to both an individual and collective nostalgia.

Examining Strizic’s photographs we note a traditional structure to the picture plane. Unlike the photographs of Eugene Atget who photographed Paris in the early 20th century there is little sublime spatial representation in Strizics photographs, that different angle of alignment that Atget achieved with the positioning of his camera. Further, we observe that unlike an immigrant to another country at around the same time, Robert Frank and America, the photographs follow traditional format: none of the revolutionary experimentation in handheld, grainy images of jukeboxes, cut up people or images of flags appear in this work. We can also say that unlike Helen Levitt’s early black and white images of New York from around the same period there is little ‘joie de vivre’, little engagement with the actual nitty gritty stuff of living in Strizic’s work. The quote below articulates what Strizic’s photographs both address and dismiss:

“To walk in the city is to experience the disjuncture of partial vision/partial consciousness. The narrativity of this walking is belied by a simultaneity we know and yet cannot experience. As we turn a corner, our object disappears around the next corner. The sides of the street conspire against us; each attention suppresses a field of possibilities. The discourse of the city is a syncretic discourse, political in its untranslatability. Hence the language of the state elides. Unable to speak all the city’s languages, unable to speak all at once, the state’s language become momunental, the silence of headquarters, the silence of the bank. In this transcendent and anonymous silence is the miming of corporate relations. Between the night workers and the day workers lies the interface of light; in the rotating shift, the disembodiment of lived time. The walkers of the city travel at different speeds, their steps like handwriting of a personal mobility. In the milling of the crowd is the choking of class relations, the interruption of speed, and the machine. Hence the barbarism of police on horses, the sudden terror of the risen animal.” 1 

 

Mark Strizic photographs

Mark Strizic photographs

 

We observe in the photographs an emphasis on surfaces, on a supreme understanding of light and shade coupled with a certain distance and emotional remoteness from the frenetic hubbub of city life. Empty streets and isolated people fall into shadow and their is little evidence of ‘play’ in the photographs. This is observation not interaction or integration as an immigrant observing Melbourne life. There is no up front presence of disembodied people as in Robert Franks photographs in ‘The Americans’. Here the alienation that pervades the photographs is the alienation of the photographer from the people as much as it is the alienation of the people from themselves. People are shot in silhouette against the sun or shop windows or peering in at unobtainable goods; desolate streets and working class suburbs all express the isolation of city life but at a structured distance from them.

 

Mark Strizic photographs

 

 

When Strizic’s photographs are good they are very good. His understanding of light is magnificent: light reflects off water, hazes and shimmers off city buildings. The mixing of shadows and sun and his use of the technique of ‘contre jour’ (shooting into the sun) the one thing Strizic does against traditional conventions works to good effect in some of the best photographs. His 1968 night time long exposure photograph of the old ‘Gas and Fuel Building’ is rewarding for the black bulk of the end of the building looming over Flinders Street and the striations of car headlamps. The photograph ‘Flinders Lane’ (1967) shows a delicate use of depth of field where the foreground of cars and person are out of focus, the light bouncing off the edges of the woman, the focus of the image in the far distance. The photograph ‘McPhersons Building’ (1958, below) is one of my personal favourites in the exhibition and is a stunning photograph for the atmosphere the photographer has captured.

 

Mark Strizic. 'Macpherson Building -1' 1958

 

Mark Strizic
‘Macpherson Building – 1′
1958

 

After a while the use of the ‘contre jour’ technique becomes tiresome. Other photographs simply document a city in transition. These photographs appeal both to an individual nostalgia (‘I used to work in that building’; ‘My grandmother used to live in that street’) and a collective nostalgia where people experience things collectively, “in the sense that [collective] nostalgia occurs when we are with others who shared the event(s) being recalled, and also in the sense that one’s nostalgia is often for the collective – the characteristics and activities of a group or institution in which the individual was a participant.”2

Collective nostalgia refers to that condition in which the symbolic objects are of a highly public, widely shared and familiar character, i.e., those symbolic resources from the past which can under proper conditions trigger off wave upon wave of nostalgic feeling in millions of persons at the same time3 and in this exhibition it is the photographs of a city in transition that trigger this nostalgia, a city now lost to the mists of time. Through these photographs we remember what Melbourne was like at this time collectively.

As Harper has observed

“Nostalgia combines bitterness and sweetness, the lost and the found, the far and near, the new and the familiar, absence and presence. The past which is over and gone, from which we have been or are being removed, by some magic becomes present again for a short while. But its realness seems even more familiar, because renewed, than it ever was, more enchanting and more lovely …” 4

 

Mark Strizic photographs

Mark Strizic photographs

 

 

Does this collective nostalgia make the photographs good? This is a pertinent question.

Today, nostalgia has become a cultural phenomenon one centered on a longing for home (home is where you are happy to be!) in a collective sense and promoted through commercialization and the realization that nostalgia sells.  The use of the value seeking word ‘rare’ in the exhibition title is instructive in this regard. Only about 25% of the photographs in this exhibition are ‘vintage’ prints, in other words photographs printed within 3 years of the negative being taken. All other photographs have been printed within the last 15 years. Some are ‘Unique state’ gelatin photographs while others are not. What does this mean. Are they are unique state only in this size? What about the common or garden silver gelatin prints in the show? What does the status word ‘rare’ imply for them?

I remember seeing an exhibition of the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson in Scotland about ten years ago. Three rooms had large prints of his work. One room just had vintage prints. The contrast was astounding. The room full of vintage prints had an intensity of vision, of his vision at the time he took the photographs evidenced in small jewel like photographs that the three other rooms photographs simply did not possess – through scale, printing and aesthetics. The same question, without any need for an answer, can be posed here. Only the word ‘rare’ demands that answer for the modern prints are just what they are and nothing more.

 

Mark Strizic. 'On Princes Bridge' 1959

 

Mark Strizic
‘On Princes Bridge’
1959

 

In conclusion this is a strong show by Strizic that could have been edited and focused in a more rewarding way. Strizic is one of Australia’s best photographers for understanding the significance of place. His use of light is superb but there always seems to be an emotional distance to his photographs. An element of collective nostalgia adds to their documentary appeal but the best photographs do not just record, they challenge and transcend the subject matter taking the work to an altogether different plane of existence.

M Bunyan

 

 

Mark Strizic, Melbourne: Marvellous to Modern: The Book by Thames and Hudson in association with the State Library of Victoria will be published in September 2009.

 

GALLERY 101 
Ground level, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne VICTORIA 3000
Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 12 – 4pm
T 61 3 96546886  F 61 3 9663 0562

Gallery 101 website

 

1. Stewart, Susan. On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham: Duke University Press, 1993, p.2. Prologue.

2. Wilson, Janelle. “Remember when …” a consideration of the concept of nostalgia” in et Cetera. Concord: Fall 1999. Vol. 56, Iss. 3;  pg. 296, 9 pgs.

3. Davis, F. Yearning For Yesterday: A Sociology of Nostalgia. New York: The Free Press, 1979, p.222.

4. Harper, R. Nostalgia: An Existential Exploration of Longing and Fulfilment in the Modern Age. The Press of Western Reserve University, 1966, p.120 quoted in Wilson, Janelle. “Remember when …” a consideration of the concept of nostalgia” in et Cetera. Concord: Fall 1999. Vol. 56, Iss. 3;  pg. 296, 9 pgs.

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08
Apr
09

Exhibition: ‘William Kentridge: Five Themes’ at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Exhibiiton dates: 14th March – 31st May 2009

 

One of my favourite artists in the world. His technique – the palimpsestic nature of his practice where the history, memories and spaces of previous drawings are overwritten again and again on a single piece of paper without their ever being lost (unlike traditional animation techniques) – is amazing. His use of drawing, animation and the camera to record narratives of connection always has personal and archetypal themes – love, loss, bigotry, big business, persecution, reconciliation and social conflict in the stories of his homeland South Africa. His perspective on the world, his knowledge of books and philosophy, his understanding that stories exist as faint, legible remains completes the perception that he is an artist drawn to the line of the world. His work is moving and compassionate as all great art should be.

 

William Kentridge. Drawing for the film Stereoscope [Felix Crying]' 1998–99

 

William Kentridge
‘Drawing for the film Stereoscope [Felix Crying]‘
1998–99

 

“Combining the political with the poetic, William Kentridge’s work has made an indelible mark on the contemporary art scene. Dealing with subjects as sobering as apartheid and colonialism, Kentridge often imbues his art with dreamy, lyrical undertones or comedic bits of self-deprecation, making his powerful messages both alluring and ambivalent. Perhaps best known for his stop-motion films of charcoal drawings, the internationally renowned South African artist also works in etching, collage, sculpture, and the performing arts, opera in particular. This exhibition explores five primary themes that have engaged Kentridge over the last three decades through a comprehensive selection of his work from the 1980s to the present. Concentrating on his most recent production and including many pieces that have not been seen in the United States, the exhibition reveals as never before the full arc of his distinguished career.”

Text from the SFMOMA website

 

William Kentridge videos from the SFMOMA exhibition website

 

Multimedia videos that illuminate William Kentridge’s creative process, his characters and the use of music in his “drawings for projection.”

 

“Although his hand-drawn animations are often described as films, Kentridge himself prefers to call them “drawings for projection.” He makes them using a distinctive technique in which he painstakingly creates, erases, and reworks charcoal drawings that are photographed and projected as moving image. Movement is generated within the image, by the artist’s hand; the camera serves merely to record its progression. As such, the animations explore a tension between material object and time-based performance, uniquely capturing the artist’s working process while telling poignant and politically urgent stories.”

Text from Artdaily.org website

 

 

 

More videos of William Kentridge work are available on You Tube

 

 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

151 Third Street
San Francisco CA 94103
Tel: 415.357.4000

SFMOMA website

William Kentridge on Wikipedia

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06
Apr
09

Exhibition: ‘Of Life and Loss: The Polish Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky’ at The Detroit Institute of Arts

Exhibition dates: April 15 – July 12, 2009

 

Hardly any photographs by Jeffrey Gusky online but he has provided some via email. I will post them asap. Thankyou very much Jeff for contacting me. I didn’t know much about the photographer Roman Vishniac but after more research I am so glad I do now. What a photographer!

Just look at the image below to see a masterpiece of classical photography. Look at the space between the figures, the tension almost palpable, the look on the granddaughters face and the wringing of her hands a portent of the despair to come. A good archive of his photographs is on the International Center of Photography website.

 

Roman Vishniac. 'Grandfather and granddaugther' Lublin, 1937

 

Roman Vishniac
‘Grandfather and granddaugther’
Lublin, 1937

 

“This exhibition, organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, includes around 90 black-and-white photographs taken by two photographers: Roman Vishniac, who photographed throughout Poland’s Jewish communities in the mid-1930s, and Jeffrey Gusky who photographed many of the same Polish sites during the 1990s. 

In 1935, Russian-born photographer Roman Vishniac was commissioned by the American Joint Distribution Committee (a Paris-based relief agency) to photograph Jewish communities in the cities and villages of Poland as well as other areas of Eastern Europe. He took over 16,000 photographs (around 2,000 have survived) depicting the people, life, homes, schools, and trades of these communities. The photographs, in turn, were to be used to help raise money for humanitarian aid for individuals in areas that were becoming increasingly destitute. 

In 1996, Jeffrey Gusky, an amateur photographer and doctor of Russian-Jewish descent set out on a personal journey in search of Jewish identity and culture in Eastern Europe. He made the first of four trips to Poland where he traveled to cities and villages where Jews had lived and worked for centuries. Gusky photographed what remained of Jewish culture in Poland focusing on the ruins of synagogues, cemeteries—many of which were desecrated, and the empty and still streets.”

Text from the Detroit Institute of Arts website

 

Roman Vishniac. 'Isaac Street, Kazimierz, Cracow' nd

 

Roman Vishniac
‘Isaac Street, Kazimierz, Cracow’
nd

 

Roman Vishniac. 'A street of Kazimierz, Cracow' nd

 

Roman Vishniac
‘A street of Kazimierz, Cracow’
nd

 

“Examining each photographer separately, Vishniac and Gusky have very distinctive photographic styles. Due to the nature of his project and the ever-escalating semblance of anti-semitism, Vishniac’s photographs are less polished and more emotionally raw in an attempt to tell the stories of people’s individual lives. By contrast, Gusky finds inspiration in the physical places which made up the world of now entirely absent communities of Jews.

While each photographer had an individual style and statement to make, it is both the relationship with and stark difference between the two that provides the greatest emotional poignancy. The exhibition pairs many Vishniac and Gusky photographs, illuminating the individual lives lost, culture destroyed, and environments degraded by decades of neglect in Poland, as Gusky photographed the desecrated cemeteries, crumbling synagogues, and empty streets that served as the backdrop for Vishniac’s scenes of mid-century Jewish life.

There are also several points of convergence in the biographies of Vishniac and Gusky.  Like Vishniac, Gusky is of Russian Jewish descent, and both men were compelled to their photographic projects in part by personal reasons springing from their Jewish heritage. The photographers also have professional ties to biological science which embody their work through illustration of the fragility of human life.” 

Text from the Santa Barbara Museum website

 

Jeffrey Gusky. 'Broken stained glass window, Wielkie, Oczy' 2001

 

Jeffrey Gusky
‘Broken stained glass window, Wielkie, Oczy’
2001

 

Roman Vishniac. 'A Boy with a toothache. Next year another child will inherit the tattered schoolbook. Slonim' ca 1935-38

 

Roman Vishniac
‘A Boy with a toothache. Next year another child will inherit the tattered schoolbook. Slonim’
ca. 1935-38

 

“Vishniac was born in Russia, and fled to Berlin with his family in 1920. He worked as a biologist and supplemented his income as a photographer. Eventually he became compelled to use photography to document people and communities throughout Europe. In the 1930s Vishniac was commissioned by the Joint Distribution Committee, a Paris-based relief agency, to photograph Jewish life in Poland, where he took over 16,000 photographs (only 2,000 survived the war) over a three-year period. He photographed vibrant communities filled with people in their homes and schools, at their trades and in their streets, markets and temples. His poignant works are evidence of communities filled with life despite the lack of food, medical care and livelihood that prevailed. 

Gusky is a physician in rural Texas who began photographing as a way to explore Jewish identity. Although a Jew of Russian decent, he became interested in the history of Jews in Poland after hearing a radio interview with Ruth Ellen Gruber, an American journalist who documented the ruins of Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. His photographs depict the vacant and somber sites of once-thriving Jewish communities throughout the country. With these images, Gusky reveals a powerful, dramatic message about a lost culture that was once part of Poland’s Jewish past. This initial photographic work has led him to further examine “the void of modern life,” and the threat of genocide that continues to haunt humankind of all ethnicities and cultures in the past and present.”

Text from the Artdaily.org website

 

Roman Vishniac. 'Boys and Books' 1935-38

 

Roman Vishniac
‘Boys and Books’
ca. 1935-38

 

Roman Vishniac. 'Children at Play, Bratislava' ca. 1935-38

 

Roman Vishniac
‘Children at Play, Bratislava’
ca. 1935-38

 

The above photograph reminds me of the Henri Cartier-Bresson photograph below.

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson. 'Children in Seville' 1933

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
‘Children in Seville’
1933

 

 

Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Main Line: 313.833.7900
Weekend Hotline: 313.833.7530
TDD: 313.833.1454

Detroit Institute of the Arts website

International Center of Photography website

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03
Apr
09

Around the galleries: Derek O’Connor at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Peter Cole ‘Elements + Memories’ at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

 

In a mad dash around town I managed to see the Derek O’Connor and Peter Cole exhibitions before they finished and also the Siri Hayes ‘En Plein Air’ exhibition of photographs at Gallerysmith (see next post).

 

Derek O’Connor paintings at Karen Woodbury Gallery – finishes April 4th 2009

An intense show of small oil paintings that really draw you into their composition. They are paintings of tremendous energy and layering, the surface being in a constant state of flux. The paintings become metaphors for the bodies existence in space, corporeal landscapes full of sensation ‘neither rational nor cerebral.’ They become a mediation and a meditation upon life itself  - complex, convulsive, concentrated energy that focuses the viewers attention so that they cannot look away.

 

Derek O'Connor. 'Horizontal' 2008

 

Derek O’Connor
‘Horizontal’
2008

 

Derek O'Connor. 'Horizontal' 2008

 

Derek O’Connor
‘Horizontal’
2008

 

“Working with his tools of palette knives and brushes, he sets into motion a train of repetitions, of speeds and slowness1 applying and scrapping paint away in an attempt to move from a position of not knowing towards knowing. He brings … an intense physical and mental awareness to the rhythms of his own movements, his own body. At such moments time seems to expand – to become infinite.

In erasing from his project the world of appearances, Derek O’Connor embraces something else – the realm of ‘sensation’. Sensation is an open painterly expression which resists definition. The Modernist painter Paul Cezanne described sensation as a “logic of the senses” which is neither rational nor cerebral2 … For Derek, the subject of his painting appears to be the act of making itself. Here subject and object collapse (folding into itself) so that sensation is experienced through the materiality of paint, via the movements of the artists’ body to affect the bodies of others.”

Paul Uhlmann from the catalogue essay

 

Derek O' Connor. 'Irregular' 2008

 

Derek O’Connor
‘Irregular’
2008

 

Karen Woodbury Gallery
4 Albert Street
RICHMOND VIC 3121
AUSTRALIA

Gallery Opening Hours Wed-Sat 11-5

Karen Woodbury Gallery website

 

1. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. A Thousand Plateaus. London: Continuum, 1987, pp.292-300.

2. Deleuze, G. The Logic of Sensation. London: Continuum, 2003, p.42.

 

 

Peter Cole ‘Elements + Memories’ at John Buckley Gallery 18th March – 9th April 2009 

 

“In Peter D Cole’s stunning and ambitious exhibition Elements + Memories he creates a playful interactive work titled Elemental Landscape. Utilising his highly stylised modernist and reductionist technique – influenced at an early age by studies of Miro and Calder – Cole presents 64 small sculptural pieces of varying colour and shape of which the audience is encouraged to create their own compositions. Cole also presents three large-scale sculptures drawing on memories of his times in Japan.

Cole’s distinct skill of distilling the landscape and architecture into separate elements and symbols is in itself evocative of traditional minimal Japanese aesthetic and he has created a series of works which draw upon Japanese interiors and street scapes and the gardens of the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom festival).”

Text from John Buckley Gallery website

 

Peter Cole. 'Elements + Memories' installation views at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

 

Peter Cole
‘Elements + Memories’ installation views at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne (first and second image)

‘Bar 4 – Shibuya’ 2009 (third image)

‘Garden – Yoyogi’ 2009 (fourth image)

 

A decidedly underwhelming show by Peter Cole at John Buckley Gallery only redeemed by the amazing ‘Elemental Landscape’ series of 64 small sculptural pieces displayed as a frieze (see below). The large free standing sculptural works fail to impress with their minimalist Ikea-esque cut out style – especially when viewed from the rear of the work. One would have thought that a sculptor, making several free standing pieces that are going to be walked around in a gallery space, would have designed the work to be viewed ‘in the round’. As it is all the perfection of the clinical front of the works is undone by brackets and screws holding the whole thing together when viewed from the flattened rump. This is pretty, surface work that lacks substance and insight, pretty shapes and cut outs and targets that allude to memory but are just stylised glossy magazine representations of it.

 

Peter Cole. 'Elemental Landscape' 2009

Peter Cole. 'Elemental Landscape' 2009

Peter Cole. 'Elemental Landscape' 2009

Peter Cole. 'Elemental Landscape' 2009

 

Peter Cole
‘Elemental Landscape’
2009

 

On the other hand the ‘Elemental Landscape’ series of sculptures is just magical – playful, ever inventive, wonderfully contemporary, beautifully resolved in concept and manufacture, in their use and bending of geometric shapes, the sculptures really are fantastic when seen ‘in situ’ as a whole. Visit the exhibition just to see this work – buy some pieces and make your own elemental landscape!

 

 

John Buckley Gallery

8 Albert St, Richmond VIC 3121 Australia
Gallery hours: 11 – 5 pm, Wednesday – Saturday

John Buckley Gallery website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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