Posts Tagged ‘analogue photography

17
May
17

Exhibition: ‘Tom Goldner: Passage’ at The Fox Darkroom & Gallery, Kensington, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 5th May – 21st May, 2017

 

Tom Goldner. 'Valley' 2015-15

 

Tom Goldner
Valley
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

 

It is such a pleasure to be able to walk into a gallery – in this case, one located in the recently restored Young Husband Wool Store in Kensington: a building originally built in the late 1800s which is now home to a vibrant community of artists, musicians, designers and makers – to view strong, fibre-based analogue black and white photographs printed by the artist from medium format negatives. No worrying about crappy, digital ink-jet prints which don’t do the tableau justice. Just the pure pleasure of looking at the wondrous landscape.

Goldner is working in the formalist way of modernist photographers and in a long tradition of mountain photography – a combination of travel, mountaineering and fine-art photography. As the text from the recent exhibition at the Musée de l’Elysée Vertical No Limit: Mountain Photography observes: “… photography invented the mountain landscape by revealing it to the eyes of the world. Photography is heir to a certain idea of the mountains and of the sublime, closely linked to pictorial romanticism.” In Goldner’s work, this romanticism is subdued but still present: reflection in lake, mist over treetop, and the capture of human figures in the landscape to give scale to the great beyond, a feature of Victorian landscape photography, mountain or otherwise.

However, the photographs contain a certain innocence: not the romantic, isn’t the world grand BUT this is the world. Goldner celebrates photography by allowing the camera to do what it does best – capture reality. He takes things as they are. There is no waiting for a particularly dramatic sky, the artist just takes what he sees. In this sense his everyday skies undercut the dramatic romanticism of place by allowing the possibility that these images (or variations of them) could be taken day after day, year after year. This is the natural state of being of these places and he pushes no further.

This is where the title of the exhibition and words supporting it are confusing. There is nothing transitional, transnational, or transient about these images – no movement from one state to another as in a “passage” – and certainly no discernible difference from one year to the next. Goldner’s photographs show the everyday, just how it is. That is their glorious strength: their clarity of vision, their ability to celebrate the here and now, which can be witnessed every day in the passes and peaks around the Mont Blanc regions of France, Italy and Switzerland. And then I ask, is that innocence enough?

Marcus

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Many thankx to Tom Goldner for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

The world around us is perpetually changing – ice melts, glaciers shift, weather changes and time passes. Nowhere stays the same, and neither do we.

Passage captures a transitional time in Tom Goldner’s photography practice. In 2015 and 2016, Tom made two physical expeditions around the Mont Blanc regions of France, Italy and Switzerland. Ever-conscious of the changing nature of the landscape – the fact that you could stand in the same spot one year later and find everything had changed – he shot fleeting moments on medium format film.

Back in Melbourne, Tom painstakingly developed and printed each photograph by hand in his darkroom. The experience reawakened his love of manual photography, and he saw parallels between the physical exertion of actually taking the pictures and the intense concentration needed in producing the series of atmospheric silver gelatin prints.

Artist’s statement

 

Tom Goldner. 'Passage' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Passage
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

Tom Goldner. 'Lake' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Lake
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

Tom Goldner. 'Pines' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Pines
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

Tom Goldner. 'Rocks' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Rocks
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

Tom Goldner. 'Window (a)' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Window (a)
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

Tom Goldner. 'Window (b)' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Window (b)
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

Tom Goldner. 'Hill' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Hill
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

Tom Goldner. 'Col de la Seigne' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Col de la Seigne
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

Tom Goldner. 'Aiguille du Midi' 2015-16

 

Tom Goldner
Aiguille du Midi
2015-16
Silver gelatin print

 

 

The Fox Darkroom & Gallery
8 Elizabeth St, Via Laneway,
Kensington VIC 3031

Opening hours:
Thursday – Friday 11am – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday 11am – 5pm

The Fox Darkroom & Gallery website

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02
Dec
15

Exhibition: ‘Wayne Gudmundson: Trees of Burgundy’ at Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, California

Exhibition dates: 7th November – 23rd December 2015

 

There is a Cartier Bresson of a group of roadside trees that makes a heart.
There is the photography of Wim Wenders in “Kings of the Road.”
There is Robert Adams and a 19th century European sensibility (eg. Gustave Le Gray) all rolled into one.

The more expansive vistas such as #4 and #14 don’t really work for me, but the darker, more chthonic narratives such as #6-9 are excellent. They need some more “tiny work” – but they are very good.

The prints are 16 x 20 inch gelatin silver prints from a 4 x 5 view camera negative.

Marcus

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Many thankx to Joseph Bellows Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson. 'Brie, France, June 1968'

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Brie, France, June 1968
1968
Silver gelatin print

 

Kings of the Road (German: Im Lauf der Zeit) is a 1976 German road movie directed by Wim Wenders.

 

Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820-1884) 'Trees along the Pavé de Chailly' 1852

 

Gustave Le Gray (French, 1820-1884)
Trees along the Pavé de Chailly
1852
Salted paper print from paper negative
9-7/16 x 13 inches.

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #3' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #3
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #13' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #13
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #12' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #12
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #6' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #6
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #7' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #7
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #8' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #8
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #9' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #9
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

 

“Joseph Bellows Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Wayne Gudmundson: Trees of Burgundy. This exhibition will open on November 7th and continue through December 23rd, 2015. Accompanying and complementing this solo exhibition will be a group themed show, entitled Regarding Trees. It will feature a remarkable collection of both vintage and contemporary tree images by a selection of the medium’s most celebrated photographers.

In the exhibition Trees of Burgundy, Gudmundson depicts the beauty of the French countryside through observing the tree-lined roads within Saizy, a small farming community in the Burgundy region of France. In his eloquently organized photographs, he shows the viewer how these trees interact with, and in some measure create the landscape to which they belong; a richly layered landscape that suggests the possibility of narrative, real or imagined.

Wayne Gudmundson is a highly regarded photographer whose work has been written about by such luminaries in the field as Robert Adams, Ben Lifson, and Frank Gohlke. His photographs have been featured in numerous books including his 2007 monograph, A Considered View: The Photographs of Wayne Gudmundson.

Serving as a counterpart to Gudmundson’s exhibition, Regarding Trees will comprise a diverse survey of exceptional tree photographs. The exhibition presents vintage and contemporary works that encompass many styles and processes of picture making. It will feature photographs by: Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Paul Caponigro, John Szarkowski, Barbara Bosworth, Gregory Conniff, Linda Connor, Koichiro Kurita, Ben Nixon, Debbie Fleming Caffery, Rhondal Mckinney, Tom Zetterstrom and others.”

Press release from the Joseph Bellows Gallery

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #14' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #14
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #4' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #4
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #1' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #1
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #5' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #5
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

Wayne Gudmundson. 'Saizy, France #2' 2014

 

Wayne Gudmundson
Saizy, France #2
2014
Gelatin silver print
16 x 20 inches

 

 

Joseph Bellows Gallery
7661 Girrard Avenue
La Jolla, California
T: 858 456 5620

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 5pm, and Saturday by appointment 

Joseph Bellows Gallery website

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02
Mar
13

Review: ‘Andrew Curtis: Moonlight Mile’ at Blockprojects, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 6th February – 3rd March 2013

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This is a strong exhibition of large scale hybrid black and white photographs by Andrew Curtis at Blockprojects, Cremone. The photographs look grand in the simple, beautiful exhibition space, perhaps too grand, too sympatico with the theme of the work: mountains made out of piles of earth dumped at building sites in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. There is humour and absurdity here as Dan Rule notes, but also more than a hint of the sublime. By playing with scale (narratives of the miniature, the gigantic) and light (these images have been studiously lit from different angles during a long time exposure), Curtis tricks the eye of the viewer, just for a split second (the punctum?), elucidating “the strength of the almost blinding role that expectation plays in our reading of an image.” (Dan Rule)

What do I mean by hybrid monochrome images – the work was shot on a 4 x 5 large format film camera and then printed digitally as an archival pigment print on cotton rag. Personally, if I went to all the trouble to shoot on film, then why wouldn’t I go the distance and get them printed the traditional way to preserve the optical veracity that large format brings? With this in mind I asked myself why the images had to be so big (the gigantism of most contemporary photography) for the smaller image, Point Cook 2 (2012, below) seemed at least as valid, perhaps more so as an image, than the larger photographs. It was almost as if the smaller size gave the subject more validity in terms of its abstractness (see installation photograph below). Perhaps a size in between the two presented in the exhibition and printed the analogue way would have been more appropriate to the spirit of the work.

The other thing that I found puzzling was the lack of depth of field from front to back of most of the images. The foregrounds were invariably out of focus (when you could actually see them) which is a strange choice when using a large format camera, where everything can be in focus front to back (a la F64). Curtis’ aesthetic choice is directly from the Pictorialist handbook, as is his decision to darken the out of focus foreground with an aura of black so that nothing is visible (see Hoppers Crossing 1, 2 and 3 below). This makes for a strange reading of the photographs where the mountain becomes isolated yet is the sole grounding of the image (save for a shadowy horizon line behind), a trope that didn’t really work for me.

My favourite images where the more intimate images such as Point Cook 2 and Wonthaggi (both 2012, below). In both the foreground is agreeably present to lead the eye into the image. In Point Cook 2 the eye is also led in from the right hand side by the spine of the mountain range, the light on the earth matching the ethereal light in the sky. A good image. Even better is Wonthaggi where the stand alone isolation of the monolithic mountains in most of the other images is broken by the “shoulders” of the mountain disappearing out of frame. This, combined with more subtle lighting and the presence of massed shadows of trees in the background, adds a valuable context to the image while at the same time referencing the history of Australian photography through the images of such people as Harold Cazneaux.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

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PS. Just as a general point of interest. It is so difficult to make the right choice when displaying large, dark photographs in a gallery setting. If you pin them to the wall, as here, there tend to be waves in the photographs and a client who wants to purchase the print has to factor in where to get the print framed and how much this is going to cost: a lot of hassle for a potential client. If you do get the work framed there is the initial upfront cost plus the dark image is more than obscured by the glass in front of the image, lessening the photographs presence in front of the viewer. Finally there is the choice to have the photograph mounted on aluminium (dibond mounting) or facemounting a print onto acrylic. This gets rid of the need for framing and keeps the print flat but a serious collector of photography will not touch them because they have been stuck down with glue to these materials. A perplexing problem indeed.

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Many thankx to Blockprojects for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Andrew Curtis. 'Wonthaggi' 2012

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Andrew Curtis
Wonthaggi
2012
Archival pigment print on cotton rag
120 x 180 cm

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Harold Cazneaux. 'The bent tree, Narrabeen' 1914

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Harold Cazneaux
The bent tree, Narrabeen
1914
Bromoil photograph
14.6 x 18.9 cm

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Andrew Curtis. 'Point Cook 2' 2012

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Andrew Curtis
Point Cook 2
2012
Archival pigment print on cotton rag
66 x 100 cm

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Installation view of 'Andrew Curtis: Moonlight Mile' at Blockprojects, Melbourne

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Installation view of Andrew Curtis: Moonlight Mile exhibition at Blockprojects, Melbourne

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Andrew Curtis. 'Hoppers Crossing 1' 2012

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Andrew Curtis
Hoppers Crossing 1
2012
Archival pigment print on cotton rag
120 x 180 cm

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Andrew Curtis. 'Hoppers Crossing 2' 2012

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Andrew Curtis
Hoppers Crossing 2
2012
Archival pigment print on cotton rag
120 x 180 cm

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Andrew Curtis. 'Hoppers Crossing 3' 2012

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Andrew Curtis
Hoppers Crossing 3
2012
Archival pigment print on cotton rag
120 x 180 cm

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Catalogue essay by

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Catalogue essay by Sean Payne, Deakin University (please enlarge to read)

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Andrew Curtis. 'Point Cook 1' 2012

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Andrew Curtis
Point Cook 1
2012
Archival pigment print on cotton rag
120 x 180 cm

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Andrew Curtis. 'Almurta' 2011

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Andrew Curtis
Almurta
2011
Archival pigment print on cotton rag
120 x 180 cm

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Blockprojects
79 Stephenson Street
Cremorne 3121 VIC
Australia
T: +61 3 9429 0660

Opening Hours:
Tuesday via appointments only.
Wednesday – Friday 11-5pm
Saturday 11-4pm
Sunday 12-4pm

Blockprojects website

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Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Études’ 1994

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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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