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Review: Joseph D. Jachna at Stephen Daiter Gallery

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014
Surface Contradictions 1958-1970

Through February 23, 2013

 


What began as an intention to give the long established and well celebrated photographer, Joseph D. Jachna a retrospective actually became a reflection on the artists foundation- early works from his graduate school days. Most works are unknown and have been unseen for years. The wealth of material discovered in two storage boxes is now on display at the Daiter Gallery.

These works, like much of what came later, explore themes of self - exploration, reflection, and expression. What we see in the frames is careful attention to the quality of the photograph. The values of the media are king- light, tone, and texture are well attended to. The subjects are skillfully rendered, and often illusive. Though identifiable many frames invite alternative interpretations. It is as if we begin knowing then loose ourselves so deeply in reality that it fades into a new plane. The water reflections that were Jachna's thesis work at the Institute of Design allow our eyes to rest on the surface but also invite us to create form in or with the water. One of the few titled water images,Brancusifrom 1960 for example depicts both receding ice on water's surface with calm shadowandthe form of a figure standing on a peek. Several more works from the same year are discoveries within surface and we find ourselves in one moment knowing and the next desiring to define. These early experimentations with quality and surface unfolded into Jachna's later practice where the quality of the print shifted to act in a way that was felt. His prints began to lean more on the poetic power within the subject, then his fluency with the media. Rendering remained elegant but not so powerfully noted, later works are smooth and seamless but these early examples prove an exciting look at the root of the artist's approach and practice.


For more information on the exhibition please visit Stephen Daiter Gallery

Newcity Review

 

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Artist's Reception & Performance: KAZUO SUMIDA at Laurence Miller Gallery

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014
Notes from Underground: Memories of My Uncle

Opening with the Artist & Performers:
Thursday January 31, 2013
5:30 - 7:30

Kazuo Sumida to be present.

Japanese dancer Nana Miki & French actress/singer Flo Ankah to perform between 6 and 7 pm.

 


Notes from Underground: Memories of My Uncle by Kazuo Sumida at Laurence Miller Gallery marks the first exhibition of the work in the United States. The series was born from a personal exploration into darkness. After the death of his father, Sumida plunged into period of depression, and like so many turned to the safety of the dark, and the refuge in the night. Working with low-profile equipment, including infrared film and filtered strobe, which emits a flash undetectable by the human eye, Sumida was able to move as a shadow. He began to wander the pleasure district of his home-town of Kochi. Sumida's secretive approach to shooting allowed him to avoid sparking confrontations with local gangs and get close to patrons of downtown establishments. Sumida began to spend more time at a late-night venue, Nobara, a downtown gay bar. There he met his mother's brother, who was a performer at Nobara. Thanks to the protection of his

uncle Sumida was able to work for six years at the bar. These images of the underground are ripe with layers of tension. The works are strange- disturbing but honest, frenzied but compassionate. Our eyes adjust slowly to the dim light and we begin discern the depicted; we encounter figures for whom we can not help but feel a closeness to. The relationship between uncle and nephew manage to emerge in the frames. Figues dance, prep in back rooms, wander towards stage, and sit waiting. There is a heaviness to the work, a thickness to the shadows, but nothing, not even the dark can hide the intimacy between subject and photographer. A final heavy tone is hit as we learn of the uncle's death in 1990; we share the sadness of Sumida and his mother at he uncle's funeral.

 

For more information, please visit Laurence Miller Gallery


Mention of the exhibition inartdaily

 

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New Yorker Review: Nicholas Nixon at Pace/MacGill Gallery

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014
Here and Now

Exhibition Dates: January 11 – February 23, 2013

 

The exhibition of new work, executed between 2010 and 2012, marks Nicholas Nixon's forth solo show at the gallery. True to his past Nixon continues to engage the large format camera as his mode of expression. The cycle of life is presented in universal view in a series of 11 x 14 inch and 16 x 20 inch gelatin silver prints that were taken throughout the United States and France. With this series Nixon's practice drew on several inspirations- mother and child; fragmented portraits of his wife and himself; and organic elements.

Intimacy and the life cycle unites the different fractions within Nixon's larger project. An opening up of life's patterns is revealed, birth, death, and human intimacy is explored. We begin with images of mothers and newborns- babies coo and look with wonder and amazement at us. A closeness is established that runs deeper in another segment of the series that examines the history Nixon and his wife of 39 years have shared. Macroscopic views are our windows into the life and history of a couple who as the infants become symbol to those of us who have or hope to share our lives with another. Some frames are so close that all we see is wiry hair merging with wrinkled skin. Through these views we engage a different variety of emotion than we experienced with the infants. Where the infant represents hope, joy, and renewal these pieces speak to age, devotion, and the comforts of cohabitation. A final portion of images presents organic elements, including landscapes that contrast the macroscopic views of bodies. A balance moves in and out of play- while all life renews the natural world has not the complexities or conscious of the human's cycle. We see the human form united to but distinguished from the greater continuum of the natural world's pattern.

For more information please visit Pace/MacGill Gallery

Pace MacGill



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New Yorker Review: Kenro Izu at Howard Greenberg

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014
India, Where Prayer Echoes

Through February 23, 2013

 

An unusual invitation sewed the seeds for this new body of work by Japanese photographer Kenro Izu. Izu was invited to a cremation. On the banks of the Ganges River Izu watched with particular attention to the family members through the 3-hour ceremony. The body of a family member, which came decorated in flowers and fabrics, turned slowly to ash and was swept back into the river. The mood was amazingly calm and for Izu a very different experience than the traditions to which he is accustomed.

Izu was inspired by this experience so much so that he returned to India and walked with an intention of discovery. Working with the 19th century tradition of the travel photographer and a 14 x 20 in. large format camera and all its cumbersome equipment Izu captured sprit-filled frames of a country and a people. The platinum palladium process employed lends to timelessness, nostalgia, and easy contemplation.

In vignetted view with the soft quality of motion blur the masses move, prey, and baith at the water's edge in Rameswarm #665. Works like this set the tone for place and the mood for reflection. Ancient temples, mounds, and shrines appear to pierce the sky or act as beacons of communication to other planes, even to the nonbelievers among us. Even the land, its mountains and knotted trees seem older than all memory could imagine. Holy men, women, and children, all stare with soft but piercing eyes; our soul meets theirs. These works transport us at every turn to a place and a moment that existed in one breath but that promises permanence and endurance through the frames of the keen, the honest, the genuine prints of Izu.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit Howard Greenberg Gallery

New Yorker Review

 

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New Yorker Review: David Hilliard at Yancey Richardson Gallery

Posted By Administration, Sunday, January 27, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Tale is True

Through February 16, 2013


David Hilliard has returned to a familiar subject- the father-son relationship with new work The Tale is True. We begin on poetic ground with the work's title, drawn from The Seafarer, an Old English elegy which tells the story of an old seafarer facing the hardships of his past in an attempt to create meaning out of his life. In this new chapter of father-son tale, among other familial relationships, we see Hilliard examine the dynamics of family ties and attempt to weigh, sort out, or at least remember these moments.

Hilliard has always engaged symbol and used the specific to speak to the general; his multi-paneled panoramas (polyptychs) in form and size alone speak to history and legacy. The prints engage traditions in paining where mythical or religious histories were splayed on large canvases; in them allegories and symbols gave clues to and enrich the visual story. Hillard too calls on narrative and metaphor in the same way, and for him philosophical and spiritual themes unravel. Though we feel a strong sense of presence in the work we can't ignore the feeling that something is slipping away. Sensations move between celabratory and a sort of clinging- to hope.

Aging evolves into an important theme in this series and we see our narrator looking both at his aging father and himself in new context. There is a particularly strong sense of longing to this series- a remembering and a saving, a harvest of moment, and a preserving of memory. We see a flash of youth remembered in When Lips and Skin Remember where Hilliard's parents embrace in the family pool. A moment of winter's harvest in Pomelos where Hilliard's mother pulls ripe frute from the tree and his father sits cutting into its flesh in the shade. There is something Eden-like to this work but quite definitely fleeting. We engage the fate of us all, we watch the wheel turn on the cycle of life, and maybe we even wonder at our own position on it.

For more information on the exhibition please visit Yancey Richardson Gallery

New Yorker Review

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