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Wall Street Journal Review: Proof at L. Parker Stephenson

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 27, 2014
Proof:  The Intersection of Science, Art, and Photography

On view through May 17, 2014

Parker Stephenson fills her little space with big surprises.  The 23 pictures in "Proof" date from 1857 to 2010; they are instances in which photography was used for a scientific purpose, or in which scientific techniques were used for an artistic purpose.  Examples of both cases may be quite attractive.  The straightforward "Forest Plant (Juglandees/nut tree)" by Eugene Charles De Gayffier is a heliogravure print (c. 1867) of a species of flora, part of the great 19th-century project of taxonomy, the effort to identify and characterize the wonders of an expanding world.  Georges Demeny's "Chronophotograph of a Man Jumping" (1896) captures the energetic man six times in one picture to facilitate the study of the physiology of movement.  

There is an albumen print by joseph Woodward, "Proboscis of Zone Fly" (c.1870), taken for the U.S. Surgeon General's Office.  The delicate veins are clearly visible in Arthur Wesley Dow's "Dandelion Leaves," a cyanotype from 1895 - 1910.  The moon and other heavenly bodies show up in several works, early and late.  There are stroboscopic pictures by Bernice Abbott and Harold Edgerton.  "C-622-I, 60x, HN-150, Crystals in Crystallizer" (1960) is an anonymous picture taken for the Union Carbide Chemicals Co.; it looks like a black -and-white work of contemporaneous Abstract Expressionism.  The 2010 image is Raphael Dallaporta's "Murder-Cardiopulmonary," a dye-transfer print of a human heart removed in a forensic autopsy to study a stab wound; its slick heaps of saturated reds, purples and yellows suggest a modernist sculpture.                                                          -William Meyers


For more information on the exhibition, please visit L. Parker Stephenson.

Image Information:
Georges Demeny
Chronophotograph of a Man Jumping, 1896
Courtesy of L. Parker Stephenson 
 


Tags:  L. Parker Stephenson 

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