Tag Archives: Scale Photographs

Photo Show – Helen Sears Sightlines and Pastoral Monuments on show at Klompching Gallery New York

© Helen Sear, Sightlines, Untitled 4, 2011. Archival Pigment Print with Acrylic Gesso 7.25” x 7.25”, Edition of 3. From $2,000

© Helen Sear, Pastoral Monument 11, Fumaria Bastardi, 2012, Archival Pigment Print, 27.5” x 27.5”, Edition of 3 + 2 AP’s (AP1 nfs). From $3,000.

The third solo exhibition of new artworks by the British photographer Helen Sear is on until 26 October at the Klompching Gallery in New York. Two new series will be presented as the gallery’s opening exhibition for the 2012–2013 season, accompanied by the US launch of the monograph charting a more than 25-year practice.

“Sightlines and Pastoral Monuments continue Sear’s commitment to conceptual applications, integration of photographic process, historical reference and visual allure. Sightlines is an exquisite set of 21 photographs, partially concerned with ideas about the unique object and the copy. The images themselves depict a portrait of a woman whose face is obscured by a mass-produced, but hand-painted figurine of a bird. Sear alters the final photograph through the application of several layers of white primer—gesso.

“The images, then, are also about photographing paint and painting photographs. This convergence of the unique and/or the copy is further implicated by notions of her concern with identity.obscuring the face of the woman, Sear interrupts the gaze of both sitter and observer. The spectator of the photograph is unable to know the sitter’s identity, in a similar way that she/he can’t know the identity of the person(s) who hand-painted the bird. These small-scale photographs confound our expectations in the most delightful way, and are a testimony to the conceptual and visual strength of Sear’s practice.

“Showing alongside Sightlines, is Pastoral Monuments, which expands an underlying theme of the real and the re-presentation of it. In this case, Sear references the historical photographs of the botanist and photographer, Mary Dillwyn, whose photographs from the early 1850’s depicted wild flowers arranged in domestic crockery. Sear has sourced more than 80 wild flowers from the same Welsh field and photographed them in jugs and vases from around the world.

“Through handling the resulting prints and rephotographing them—evidencing this handling—Sear believes that “the flowers and their containers become connected in a material sense, across the surface of the image.” Further, we see in the photographs familiar ideas associated with flowers—youth, beauty and mortality. In some ways, these photographs become monuments to flowers.” Press release.

Filed under: Art shows, Photography Shows, Visual Artists, Women Photographers Tagged: Helen Sears, New York, Pastoral Monuments, Sightlines

Renate Aller

When I first experienced Renate Aller’s Oceanscapes several years ago, her stunning large-scale photographs seemed to shimmer with waves of light and reflection, and the printing was impeccable.  I am not the only one to admire these water scapes, the New Mexico Museum of Art has one on exhibition, and the Lannan Foundation is devoting an entire room to this work.  In addition, Paul Roth of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC has added 3 large oceanscapes into their collection and will be showing them from June to October in the show “The Deep Element”.  

Renate has a new body of work, dicotyledon, that is an extension and a parallel development to Oceanscapes that investigates the relationship between Romanticism, memory and landscape “in the context of our current socio-political awareness”.  The work is currently on display at the Adamson Gallery in Washington DC, through May 31st.
With dicotyledon, Renate looks at nature as a stage set, and presents work rooted in sentimentality and recollection, giving us flashes of beauty and the natural world.  

way we are looking at nature from a distance is similar to the way painters of
the romantic period presented their work to the viewer. Our human desire is to
tame and dominate nature. Our ambivalent relationship with nature is reflected
in the way we are looking at it, using the landscape image as a mirror of
ourselves filled with illusions, desire and nostalgia or as a fulfillment of
our idealized self. Our relationship to nature is one of intervention and
domination. We expect nature to present itself as a stage set for our

Playing with the effect an image has on us by putting two visual representations together, a grid of multiple images, the viewer is asked to make the connection of multiple experiences as we would in the linguistic world where the placement of multiple words create the meaning depending on their placement and relationship to each other. There is no linear narrative. Reality cannot be found outside representation and therefore representation cannot be tested against the real. The search for truth is irrelevant and eliminates objectivity.

Eirik Johnson: Camps & Cabins Artist Talk

Elwha River Dam, Washington; from Sawdust Mountain, 2009 © Eirik Johnson

Seattle native and 2012 Neddy Award winner Eirik Johnson presents an artist talk at G. Gibson Gallery this Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm where his third solo exhibition Camps & Cabins, large scale photographs of Pacific Northwest mushroom hunters and their makeshift structures, is currently on view (through May 26, 2012).

Johnson, the photographer behind the 2009 monograph Sawdust Mountain, has had a long history documenting the Pacific Northwest, earning himself a role as forerunner of the second generation of topographic photographers. Sawdust Mountain was a four-year exploration of the “tenuous relationship between industries reliant upon natural resources and the communities they support,” throughout Oregon, Washington, and Northern California, he explains in a video interview conducted at Aperture Gallery.

Work from that series has since been made into a limited-edition print, Freshly Felled Trees, as well as a limited-edition portfolio of three archival pigment prints, Adult Books, Firewood, and Truck for Sale, (Port Angeles, Washington), Weyerhaeuser Sorting Yard Along the Chehalis River, (Cosmopolis, Washington), and The Road to Forks, (Washington), all available at Aperture.

Johnson’s portfolio, West Oakland Walk, exploring the beauty of an urban landscape shaped by poverty, was also featured in Aperture issue 185.

Read a brief review of Camps & Cabins in Seattle Weekly or Visual Art Source, and hear what Johnson has to say about the project himself in a Q&A with CityArts magazine.

Artist Talk:
Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Exhibition on view:
April 19 – May 26, 2012

G. Gibson Gallery
300 South Washington Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
(206) 587-5751

Mary Beth Meehan

Mary Beth Meehan’s website states that she “is a photographer who creates meaningful, in-depth portraits of her
own communities. Her work addresses issues of immigration, culture, and
change, and the emotional charge surrounding them. Her goal is to use her work to create connections among people, and
to inspire an empathy that transcends economics, politics, and race

Well, that statement certainly rings true with her terrific body of work created to start a dialogue in the city of Brockton, Massachusetts.  City of Champions: A Portrait of Brockton is an outdoor installation of large-scale photographs that is on display from September 2011 – September 2012. I can only imagine what an amazing experience it is to see your work celebrated and exhibited in this way.

A final walking tour of the photographs will take place on Saturday, May 12, 11:00 a.m. meeting at Joe Angelo’s Cafe, at 11 Crescent Street, Brockton, MA.  You can read more about the project on the City of Champions site, and listen to the City of Champions” on Boston’s WBUR: http://radioboston.wbur.org/2011/12/23/city-of-champions.

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Mary Beth earned a degree in English from Amherst College and a Master of Arts in photojournalism from the University of Missouri. She now lives in Providence, R. I. and teaches Documentary Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art, and
is the Artist in Residence at the International Charter School, where
she leads a program teaching students in a bilingual school to document
their cultures.

Mary Beth’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, she
has exhibited her photographs nationally and internationally, and has
lectured on the subject of community photojournalism nationwide. Her
honors include awards from Pictures of the Year International and the National Conference for Community and Justice. She was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize.

CITY OF CHAMPIONS: A Portrait of Brockton
Mrs. Carolyn Mathers, lifelong resident and the wife of one of
Brockton’s most prominent retired judges, in her home on the city’s West
Melissa Cruz performs with the Brockton High School Marching Band.
“Brockton is portrayed as a tough, cruel city,” says a school
administrator, “but the children of our city have done wonderful

An undocumented immigrant, from Guinea Bissau, West Africa, in his Brockton apartment.         

 Nancy DeSouza poses for a portrait on Main Street.

 Pedro daGraca, from Cape Verde, works at Cindy’s Kitchen, a salad
dressing factory in Brockton. Jobs for unskilled non-English-speaking
residents are few.

Ashleigh Bruns poses with a spring bouquet, comprised of flowers plucked from City Hall Plaza.

 Turon Andrade, whose parents are from Cape Verde, takes up the boxing mantle made famous in Brockton.

 Prosperity for working people was a hallmark of Brockton’s industrial
past. The Martel family celebrates the Fourth of July with friends at
the house where they’ve lived since the 1950s.
Suzanne McCormack was born and raised in Brockton, and now lives there with her family and her adopted son, Eli.         

Some additional images….
There is a sense of loss for the old-timers, who were proud of their
“shiny penny” of a city, and have watched it decline. John Meehan, whose
grandparents arrived in Brockton from County Tipperary, Ireland, in the
late 1800s, and went straight to work in the shoe shops, speaks fondly
of growing up in a lively Irish-American enclave on the city’s east
side. Now a widower, he lives alone in an apartment complex near the
 Francella McFarlane, of Jamaica, in Brockton. “I thought my life would
be better than this, but I still thank God because I have come on a very
long journey.”

 Rising rates of poverty have been accompanied by rising violence and
crime. Mourners stand by as the grave of 15-year-old Olivier Baptiste is
filled. The boy was shot in the head by a neighbor in a disagreement
over a video game.

 New immigrant groups revitalize cast off remnants of the old Brockton,
as the Haitian Church of God inhabits an abandoned shoe factory.

Photographer #445: Michael von Graffenried

Michael von Graffenried, 1957, Switzerland, started his career as a photojournalist in 1978. Today he lives in Paris and works on long term projects often dealing with themes of ethnology. He uses a panoramic analog camera using 35mm film yet creating impressive large-scale photographs. For Michael content comes before technology and his choice for the panoramic format came somewhat by accident. He was in Algeria during the 1990’s when tension was high documenting the daily life during and after the civil war. The panoramic camera proved usefull as one can keep it on the chest while taking images. People can see the camera yet do not know that an image has been taken. Once Michael saw the results he realised the aesthetic part of this format and decided to use it. His socially engaged stories and narrative images are strong, daring and sometimes provocative. He has been in numerous exhibitions and released an enormous amount of monographs between 1980 and today. The following images come from the series Eye on Africa, Cocainelove and War without Images.

Website: www.mvgphoto.com

Guy Tillim: Second Nature

Tautira, Tahiti (4510702), 2010, © Guy Tillim

Exhibition on view:
Through March 17, 2012

James Harris Gallery
312 2nd Ave. S.
Seattle, WA
(206) 903-6220

South African photographer Guy Tillim is appearing in his first solo exhibition in the United States at the James Harris Gallery in Seattle, WA. Second Nature synthesizes the beauty of the French Polynesian landscape and discerning art historical references such as Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian ‘primitive’ paintings.

Tillim has deviated from his background documenting the effects of South Africa’s apartheid, child soldiers, famine, death, and decay. He now provides us with idealistic, romantic views of sprawling landscapes bestrewn with a contemporary human presence contradictory to the environment. Panoramic views and day-to-day minutiae make up this exhibition of six, large-scale photographs.

A book of these photographs titled Second Nature will be published by Prestel.

Tillim was featured in Aperture issue 193.

Take Refuge: Humanity’s Struggle With Nature

Why do humans want to be in nature, and why are we trying to conquer it constantly? Photographer Kevin Cooley’s new exhibition, “Take Refuge,” is an exploration of those questions, which he has been contemplating for more than three years. “The whole history of humanity could be framed within our relationship with nature,” says Cooley on the subject of his show. Now on display at the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, “Take Refuge,” features 10 large-scale photographs, as well as video work, taken by Cooley in New York, California and Spitsbergen island in the Arctic. His gorgeous landscape images show everything from snow-covered mountain tops to burning bushes, each picture a representation of the forces of nature.

Cooley made some of the show’s most captivating images while participating in the Arctic Circle Expeditionary Residency last September and October. There, he was joined by fellow artists, directors and even a scientist as a sail boat took them around Spitsbergen island and into its natural harbors. “Part of the reason I was drawn to the Arctic is because it’s sort of the end of the earth—an uninhabited place. It’s places like that where you’re directly confronted with this epic idea of nature.” And as for where he’s headed next, Cooley says, “Maybe somewhere warm.”

Kevin Cooley is a New York based photographer and artist. See more of his work here. Take Refuge is on display at the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles through Feb. 11.

Feifei Sun is an associate editor at TIME. Follow her on Twitter at @feifei_sun.

Jeff Mclane

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately and one of the treats of air travel is to fly into Los Angeles at night. Looking down on a metropolis of lights, spreading and sprawling into unlimited vistas is slightly mind blowing and makes one realize that the future is now. Los Angeles photographer, Jeff Mclane has captured a sense of that night time landscape focusing on communities surrounding the Port of Los Angeles, offering a glimpse of a terrain tightly bonded with the energy of the nearby industrial structures. Jeff will be sharing six of these large scale photographs in an exhibition, Effulgence, at the Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, CA opening on May 15 and running through August 14th, with an opening reception on May 15th from 1:20-4pm.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1984, Mclane received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. His work has appeared in such publications as The Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 2 and Monocle magazine. In 2010, he was commissioned by the Humble Arts Foundation to produce work for Manual Transmission, which was exhibited in Brooklyn, New York and Miami, Florida. The series, Thirty six Medical Marijuana Storefronts is featured below. His project, Property Lines, was featured on LENSCRATCH in 2009.

The images from Effulgence offer a new perspective of the harbor communities, depicting how towns like San Pedro, Wilmington and Palos Verdes are tied to the visual landscape of the Port of Los Angeles. The generated light from the port, is a constant reminder of the solid presence of the industrial network, and becomes even more apparent during the night hours.

Images from Effulgence

Jeff offers familiar foreground objects such of street lights, residential homes & highway roads; all while being contained in an immense brilliance of commercial trade and industry. These indications of the power and resources surrounding the communities, give insight to how these communities maintain function, and therefore exist in their own active surroundings.

Thirtysix Medical Marijuana Storefronts, Los Angeles, CA was created with the support of Humble Art’s Manual Transmission exhibition.

The choice to photograph medical marijuana dispensaries presented itself as a very current condition of the city. It is a topic in the midst of both revolution and introduction. Legal marijuana now has physical spaces in the city, which give proof to the litigation, and eventual legalization of itself. Now part of the public community, this developing topic has justification, and perhaps (eventual) normalcy.

By choosing to photograph these spaces, I have access to a new landscape, which is photographically untouched. Framing this subject, and visually ordering the storefronts, is in a way an attempt to find order and control to this somewhat socially unrefined topic.