Even though it’s a school night, I’ll be out on the town next Thursday, September 10th. Thursday, for those who don’t know, is gallery opening night in NY. This coming Thursday, there are four openings that I’ll be checking out for sure:
Amy’s statement about her work reads:
“My photographs serve as modern dioramas of our new natural history. Within these scenes I explore our paradoxical relationship with the “wild” and how our conflicting impulses continue to evolve and alter the behavior of both humans and animals. We at once seek connection with the mystery and freedom of the natural world, yet we continually strive to tame the wild around us and compulsively control the wild within our own nature. Within my work I examine the primal issues of comfort and fear, dependence and determination, submission and dominance that play out in the physical and psychological encounters between man and the natural world. Increasingly, these encounters take place within the artificial ecotones we have constructed that act as both passage and barrier between domestic space and the wild.
The photographs in this series are constructed based on real stories from local newspapers and oral histories of intentional and random interactions between humans and animals. The narratives are set in and around Matamoras, a small town in Northeast Pennsylvania that borders a state forest.”
From The Yossi Milo website:
“In his ongoing series Until the Kingdom Comes, begun in 2004 and first shown at the gallery in 2006, Simen Johan depicts a natural world hovering between reality, fantasy and nightmare. Merging traditional photographic techniques with digital methods, Johan’s images are crafted over time and may include a synthesis of landscapes from various geographical locations and animals photographed in captivity or in the wild.
An albino deer is camouflaged in a lattice of trees, shadow and light in one image; in another, a weeping willow is enshrined in an apocalyptic fog. Three of Johan’s recent sculptures incorporating taxidermy, insects and foliage into miniature ecosystems will also be included in the show.
In his work, Johan blurs the boundaries between the real and the unreal, re-imagining worlds that, much like our own, are forever a mystery. Majestic animals in fantasy landscapes are set in relief against a darker reality, one of absence and longing. The work addresses primal experiences, shaped by desires and fears—solitary paths towards imagined fulfillment.”
Moving right along, there is a group show at Aperture called Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art.
“In keeping with the golden age of Dutch landscape painting four hundred years ago, a new visual statement on the landscape has emerged from the Netherlands. Expressed through the modern mediums of photography and video art, this new imagining of the Dutch landscape is urbanized and altered, depicting the Netherlands as the most artificial country in the world.
Coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson to New York Harbor aboard the Dutch vessel Halve Maen, Aperture Gallery is pleased to present the New York debut of Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art, curated by Maartje van den Heuvel, a major survey of new work by contemporary Dutch artists who, over the past twenty years, have taken contemporary Holland as their point of departure. The exhibition opened at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York—its first venue in the United States—on June 13, 2009, and will remain on view there through August 16, 2009. The Aperture Gallery exhibition of Nature as Artifice is made possible, in part, by the Mondriaan Foundation and the Consulate General of the Netherlands.
Affected by a global reordering of production and industry, the agrarian function of the Dutch landscape is making way for suburbanization, recreation, industrial and business parks, and transportation infrastructure. “The country is in the throes of a continual process of spatial planning and reorganization,” said van den Heuvel. “The radically artificial nature of things like greenhouses, waterworks, polders with gleaming new designer cities, and geometrically patterned nature areas… often imbue the Dutch landscape with a distinctive visual appeal.”
The exhibition features the work of Hans Aarsman, Wout Berger, Henze Boekhout, Driessens & Verstappen, Marnix Goossens, Arnoud Holleman, Gert Jan Kocken, Jannes Linders, Cary Markerink & Theo Baart, Hans van der Meer, Gábor Ösz, Bas Princen, Xavier Ribas, Gerco de Ruijter, Frank van der Salm, Hans Werlemann, and Edwin Zwakman.”
From Simon’s site:
“Simon Roberts travelled throughout England in a motorhome between August 2007 and September 2008, for this portfolio of large-format tableaux photographs of the English at leisure. Photographing ordinary people engaged in a variety of pastimes, Roberts finds beauty in the mundane; the result is an elegiac exploration of identity, attachment to home and land, and the relationship between people and place. This is the most significant contribution to the photography of England in recent years.” Chris Boot, Publisher
I’m a huge, huge fan of Simon’s work. I really admire him not only for the work he produces, but for the time and effort he invests in being knowledgeable about the history and practice of photography. With influences including John Constable, William Turner, the great Dutch landscape painters and German photographer Peter Bialobrzeski, Simon’s work ain’t just pretty it’s well informed too.
Two openings going on at once at Bruce Silverstein Gallery.
First up is Todd Hido:
“Bruce Silverstein Gallery is pleased to announce A Road Divided, an extraordinary exhibition of recent large-scale landscape photographs by Todd Hido. Following his earlier debut of previously unseen portraits, Hido has focused his attention once again to the American landscape, a subject explored in his widely acclaimed series Roaming. Presented mostly in large scale, these photographs hit a new mark. Looking from the vantage point of his car seat, and shooting outward through ever changing layered mixtures of condensation, grit, and reflecting glare upon the car’s windshield, Hido masterfully transforms the mundane terrain peripherally sandwiching the myriad of roads typically dotting the outskirts of American cities, into inexplicable poignant images, filled with cinematic gravitas and dream-like sublimity, often “crossing the double lines’ between painting and photography.
While Hido embraces the aesthetic, it is not without a critical eye. He is drawn to austere scenes that characterize America as an empty place, evidenced by crossroads, dead-end streets, broken trees, and seemingly endless highways. Moody and psychological, like the times we live in, these landscapes are metaphors for personal emotions, evocative of the dark things that keep us up at night.”
Also Opening is an exhibition of Nicolai Howalt’s Car Crash Studies:
“Bruce Silverstein is pleased to announce Car Crash Studies, a thought provoking photographic study of cars that have been involved in severe and potentially fatal accidents. The series moves between documentation and abstraction. While the car crash studies are typographical in nature, seeming in some instances to be closer to sterile accident report photographs, the subject matter most obviously begs the viewer to confront the human fear of trauma and death.
Several of the images are vividly abstract and look more like landscapes than slashed up metal. Collided bodyworks, dents and cracks in varnish appear as highly enlarged details in the monumental works. These ‘color plains’ become the ultimate instance of beauty created from suffering, pain and destruction.
Although Car Crash Studies is specifically based on cars that have been involved in accidents, Howalt’s works rather attempt to portray an abstract, mental state, namely the duality we feel in relation to accidents or catastrophes when experienced from a distance – as spectators. The exhibition at Bruce Silverstein Gallery thus approaches classical themes, but in contemporary interpretation.”
All of the openings are on Thursday, September 10th from 6pm to 8pm.
531 West 25th Street
New York, NY
Yossi Milo Gallery
525 West 25th Street
New York, NY
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY
111 Front Street, Suite 206
Bruce Silverstein Gallery
535 West 24th Street
New York, NY