Tag Archives: Film Negatives

Do Process: Caitlyn Soldan

This week I am featuring artists exhibiting in Verve Gallery’s Do Process exhibition, showcasing eight unique approaches to the photographic process.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Caitlyn Soldan when I was visiting the Verve Gallery. Not only is Caitlyn a gallery assistant, she is the gallery’s Featured Online Artist this month, a category of gallery representation that debuts emerging artists. Caitlyn very kindly shared a variety of the work from the exhibition, pulling from drawers to explain the varied processes used in the work. The images Caitlyn is exhibiting is entitled Thin Veils, using the Mordançage process. In the work, she takes self-portraits using a pinhole camera. Caitlyn takes her cues from Victorian spirit photography – portraits with spirits. Thus, the images in this exhibition are Caitlyn’s visual improvisations of ghosts, spirits, and hauntings. Caitlyn’s work is ethereal, esoteric, and allegorical.

Caitlyn was born in Chicago and graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in June 2011 with a BFA in Photography. Her work explores themes of history, memory and time. Caitlyn prefers working with film and alternative processes but also enjoys exploring the possibilities of combining historical processes with new technology. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and France. Caitlyn presently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Mordançage is a 20th century process created by Jean-Pierre, which is based on a 19th century process known as bleach-etch. Bleach-etch is a reversal process for film negatives. The process involves stripping away the darkest parts of the emulsion of a silver gelatin print. This image transformation creates a relief, or a raised area on the print. Water is used to float the delicate silver emulsion on the image so as to rearrange it and dry it back down onto the print. The end result is a one-of-a-kind and thus unique photographic image. The artist chose the Mordançage process for this series because it enhances the themes of time, decay, and mortality in her work. The process also gives the images mysterious and otherworldly qualities, separating them from reality.

Photographer #419: Regina DeLuise

Regina DeLuise, 1959, USA, is a fine art photographer based in Baltimore. She received a BFA at State University of New York and an MA at the Rosary College Graduate School of Fine Arts in Italy. Her poetic images contain a large range of tones and a lot of texture. To achieve this she makes platinum / palladium contact prints from 8×10″ film negatives. 100% rag paper is coated with a light-sensitive chemical and the metals onto which the negative is placed. The large contact prints are soft, dreamy yet strong in expression. Regina has been teaching at Maryland Institute College of Art since 1998. Her work is in various public collections as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Houston Museum of Fine Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. The Photographs have also been shown in numerous exhibitions, mainly in the USA. The following images come from the series Cortona, The Phenomenal World and Guggenheim.

Website: www.reginadeluise.com

Collection Artists: Features and Exhibitions

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Bea Nettles, (paper by Marilyn Sward, printed by Audrey Niffenegger), Birch Bark, 1995

The Gainesville Sun featured a story on the life and work of collection photographer Bea Nettles. An exhibition of Nettles’ “untraditional” photographic work is currently on display at the Harn Museum of Art, through September 26. Throughout her career as an artist, Nettles mixed photography with painting, sculpture, and drawing techniques as well as with fabric, paper, and found materials. The works on view at the Harn are specific to Nettles’ experience as a mother – a “visually poetic study of her daughter, Rachel, and son, Gavin, as they mature in their first decade of life” as the Harn describes. An interesting tidbit – Nettles once served as a lab assistant to Jerry Uelsmann (also a collection photographer).

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Lillian Bassman, Carmen, New York, Harper’s Bazaar, 1963, printed 1994

Eryn-Ashlei Bailey of the Conducive Chronicle wrote a lovely feature on fashion photographer Lillian Bassman last week. Avidly experimental, Bassman made black and white photographs with unusual compositions, blurred outlines, and dark silhouettes. She abandoned her studio in the 1970’s, after decades of trying to reconcile her artistic interests with commercial demands, and left behind many of her film negatives. In 1991 hundreds of Bassman’s lost negatives were discovered and returned to the artist, who set about reprinting them. In the process, Bassman decided to reinterpret her images from the 1940s and 1950s, often giving the images a dramatically different form. Read more about Bassman, her abandoned negatives, and fashion photography struggles in this New York Times article from 2009.

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Judy Natal, Ladder, 1999

Photographer and Columbia College professor Judy Natal has been working on her Future Perfect series, which focuses on “sites that fabricate nature, not through duplication but simulation as the modeling of natural and human systems, in order to gain insight into their functioning.” Natal’s photograph of Biosphere 2, a built environment meant to represent Earth’s many ecosystems (including rain forest, desert, marsh, and mini-ocean), was featured on the Nevada Museum of Art blog this week. Of her artist-in-residency work at Biosphere 2, Natal says her images “depict, with transparency, the fabrication of environments that ultimately appear natural. It is my intent to seek out sites where this process of chaos has been repeatedly transformed.” Read more about her residency with the University of Arizona B2 Institute here.

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Ben Gest, Jess & Alan, 2004, 2004

Images by Ben Gest and Glenn Rudolph have been selected for the Silverstein Photography Annual (SPA) at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York City. The SPA is part of the gallery’s ongoing effort to provide exposure to emerging artists whose work incorporates the medium of photography. The gallery will host a opening reception for the exhibition on March 27 from 6-8pm.