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Artist's Reception: Gregory Conniff at Joseph Bellows Gallery

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013

Common Ground


Exhibition Dates: August 3 - August 31, 2013


Opening Reception with the Artist:

Saturday, August 3

6:00 - 8:00 pm

 

Gregory Conniff was born and raised in New Jersey and as a photographer is largely self-taught, though he holds degrees from Columbia University in government and the University of Virginia in law. His work first came to attention with a solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of art in Washington D.C. in 1979. He has since exhibited regularly and earned numerous fellowships, the the National Endowment of the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation among them. This exhibition with Joseph Bellows Gallery marks Conniff's first on the West Coast.


The subjects of Gregory Conniff's work seem at first rather simple, plain, mundane even, but always there is something undeniably magic to them. Conniff found the beauty in everyday American architecture, and his work has been likened to that of master Walker Evans and others who's work was formal and unadorned. With visual clarity and frankness Conniff's work celebrates the visual geometry of common places. The construction of the works is lovely, and our eye often finds delight in visual rhythms and balance of or breaks in space achieved through shadow.


Repetition of pattern is a favorite of Conniff, and the work establishes lovely passages. Our eye dances on fenceposts, slides down beams, rolls down stairs and runs along branches. Space can be found to be built and even depth cut in an image with these visual rhythms. In Wildwood, NJ, 1979 repetition of form is almost all that delineates space. This work is almost all white-on-white and shifts in line made by shadow is almost all that help us to identify and place form. Monmouth, NJ, 1978 is another visually exciting experience of pure visual rhythm.


Space is also often made or defined for Conniff through shadow. Long, rich, satisfying shadows push and break space into strong planes. The garage wall of Madison, WI, 1979 can almost be pulled away like a puzzle piece from the light-washed front. The shadow of a roofline and chimney cut deep into space in Washington D.C., 1979 and distance flickers as it is pushed and pulled. Space is definitively divided with a fence shadow and becomes stabilizing middle ground in Bay Head, NJ, 1978.


Some of the more decidedly striking images of Conniff rely on one or the other of these two strategies to keep us engaged, but others are more subtly revealing. Some of the busier frames, like Avalon, NJ, 1979; Wildwood, NJ 1979; or Madison, WI, 1982 engage the same strategies but in deeper pockets. Longer looking reveals that these images break into segments but eventually an order to the larger visual frame emerges.


For more information on the exhibition, please visit Joseph Bellows Gallery

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New Yorker Review: Alfred Gescheidt at Higher Pictures

Posted By Administration, Friday, July 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013

30 Ways to Stop Smoking


Exhibition extended through Friday, August 2nd

 

Vince Aletti of the New Yorker puts it well when he describes New York photographer Alfred Gescheidt's work as "equal parts Madison Avenue and Mad magazine." In the 1950's and 1960's Aletti excelled in a world of print culture; his work appeared first as a two-page spread in Life Magazine in 1950. In the years that followed his work splashed the pages of U.S. and European magazines, pocket paperbacks, calendars, postcards, cards, and album covers. It is memorable, catching, and humorous. Photomontage became his calling card and his notable 1964 series 30 Ways to Stop Smoking is prime example for how and why his work was so immediately and has been so lastingly powerful.


The series is as much about a specific bad habit as it is the practice of overindulgence. Smoking indeed becomes foil for consumer-culture. The work's sarcasm is direct and cutting. It can conjure a laugh or act as outright warning. Titles like Get A Job Where Smoking Is Frowned On, which features a train-car sized propane tank and a man's head; Make Lighting Up A Traumatic Experience, an image of a man lighting his cigaret with a bundle of dynamite; or Reinforce Your Will Power, a frame where a cobra guards a hoard of cigarettes are all dark but humorous. These works draw a chuckle because they are absurd and even a little explosive- literally. Other images, like Smoke, But Only In Bed When You Are Very Tired of an iron-framed bed teetering on the upper story of a burned-out building's remains are darker still and more haunting. Gescheidt went farther yet in other images- Acquaint Yourself With Smoking's Ill Effects or Think of How You Appear To Your Loved Ones are ghostly and more directly invoke the shadow of death. The graphic quality of the photomontage technique, its high contrast and often cartoon-like humor, allow a lightness to the series and its subjects- directly towards smoking and indirectly as parallel to desire, greed, and indulgence.


For more information, please visit Higher Pictures


New Yorker Review


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Artist's Reception at M+B Gallery

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Apparatus

Curated by Tim Barber
July 11 - August 31, 2013

Artist's Opening Reception:
Thursday, July 11
6:00 - 8:00 pm

Apparatus is an exploration on the human form, its representation, and meaning. The exhibition engages the human form as tool, mirror, joke, self, icon, idle and more. We are also urged in Apparatus to engage the levels of the title term and should consider the components of the body even down to the cellular level. There is a general folding and unfolding to the show that features work by Daniel Arnold, Asger Carlsen, Shayne Ehman, Jeanette Hayes, Jerry Hsu, Sandy Kim, Andrew Kuo, Ryan McGinley, Santiago Mostyn, Jason Nocito, Brad Phillips, Brea Souders, Aurel Schmidt, Kate Steciw, Shayne Ehman, Deanna Templeton and Ed Templeton.

For more information please visit M+B Gallery

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Artist's Reception: Carolyn Janssen at Julie Saul Gallery

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 8, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013

Small Baptism


Exhibition Dates: July 8 - August 16, 2013


Artist's Opening Reception:

Wednesday, July 10

6:00 - 8:00 pm

 

Perhaps the monumentality and mythic visions that appear in the work of Carolyn Janssen are due to the fact that she studited textile design as an undergraduate. Her works are expansive and mythic, and this exhibition features one, Massive Failure, which at 9 feet achieves the same rank that narrative tapestries once did.


Besides this mural are other pigment prints that though smaller in size speak to larger dramas. The pigment prints are the result of a layered process; Janssen uses photographic elements drawn from her personal repertoire of images and allows them to build up like brushstrokes. The palate is saturated, even shocking, and many neons find their way into imagined pastoral spaces that are often treacherous, and all of the figures are the artist herself. Figures wander, claim, climb, and rest, they engage in ritualistic as well as domestic activities.


After earning her undergraduate degree in textile design at Rhode Island School of Design Janssen went onto complete her MFA in Photography at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Janssen's work has been included in exhibition at the sculpture park of the North Carolina Museum of Art as part of their Park Pictures program, and later this summer it will also be featured at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh for a show called Currents.


For more information on the exhibition, please visit Julie Saul Galelry

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Review: Thomas Kennaugh at PDNB Gallery

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 8, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013

Through August 3, 2013

 

Thomas Kennaugh's exhibition with PDNB marks the artist's first solo show Texas. Kennaugh's work seems to be a pulling together of a personal and collective set of experiences. Kennaugh studied art and anthropology in Washington State, and earned a BA in Anthropology at Eastern Washington University before settling in Columbus, Ohio to establish himself as an artist. Kennaugh worked and devoloped his style and also acted as a go-between dealing and promoting work by Outsider Artists as well as 19th and 20th Century Photography. This was the beginning of his attraction to vernacular photography; he both collected it and incorporated it into his work. Further steps into the process of collage and painting were sparked by his discovery of Stanley Twardowicz, a noted Abstract Expressionist painter, and photographer based in Long Island and his study of the photographic process under photographer James Friedman reinforced his interest in photography.


This layered history certainly has been influential on Kennaugh's style. Images are combinations of many, many found elements. The works are often over-populated with figures, layers and layersof figures. Forms build and grow and individuals or their parts become bodies that surround or find themselves incorportated into strange machines, heads, or androids. Twisting gears are made of humanity and other recognizable or generic parts. Some of the machines seem to be exposition models, like Untitled of a three-story skull on a stage with scaffolded staircases leading up to it and well-dressed foks meandering around its base, some are perhaps grand inventions with supposed operators posing on railings and 

staircases, as in Transformers, and others like Drone Station seem to be war-machines. Maps reappear and speak to eras of legacy even control. Religious themes too emerge in some mapping images as well as more centrally in other works, like Fame which features a series of Christs holding guitars in crucifixion pose without a cross. The works have been allied by some with the Steampunk style, a visual aesthetic that celebrates the fantasy world of "Victorian Futurism."



For more information on the exhibition, please visit PDNB Gallery


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