I became familiar with Irma Haselberger’s photography via a closed group on Facebook. I was immediately struck by the visual impact of her photos and how they resonate with my personal aesthetic and emotions.
Irma Haselberger has been working as an artist and architect in Vienna for 25 years. Mostly her focus is urban street photography with ordinary people and how they interact with those around them.
For me Irma’s use of featureless blacks, light areas within the frame and the textures she introduces to the image add a magical depth to her photos. Irma uses Photoshop and Corel Painter to produce these effects by hand. She does not use Photoshop filters.
You can see more of Irma’s work at http://www.irma-haselberger.net/index.htm
By Jim McKinniss
I’ve written about The London Column in previous posts on this blog. The London Column describes itself as “Pictorial reports from the life of a city, 1951-2011.”
One thing I like about Lc is that the American reader is presented with a non-American perspective on photography. The articles and photos found on this blog are all well edited and quite interesting. You will find a link to Lc under the Web Links section on the right of this posting.
About Jaschinski’s photos Randy Malamud writes:
An otherworldly darkness permeates Jaschinski’s work, a troubling philosophical depth that touches both the animal inside the frame and the human spectator who is outside looking at the creature. A sense of uncertainty resonates in her photography—uncertainty about the animal’s context, the animal’s sentience, the animal’s feelings. This sense of the unknown challenges the human audience’s habitual expectations of omniscient insight with regard to other animals.
I believe that it is wrong for us to see the monkey in the way we are seeing it, in a zoo, or even in a photograph from a zoo, and yet it is at the same time mesmerizing. Is this lar gibbon as fascinated by his spectators as we are of him? What does he think of us? We cannot know. The energy that Jaschinski’s image conveys is at the same time profound and profane. The longer we regard this gibbon, if we learn anything, it is how much we cannot know.
Our relationship with non-human animals is rich, intricate, and troubled. People are fascinated by animals, and respond to them in ways that are at times full of homage and awe, and at other times oppressive and perverse. We are prone to appreciate, or to fetishize, animals in isolation as discretely framed specimens (in a zoo, or as a pet, or a meal, or a toy) distanced from their groups, alienated from their contexts. But still they are there, all around us.
What is wrong here? What is missing? Where is the viewer situated in relation to the subject? What is the connection between imagining and exploiting animals? What has the photographic aesthetic done – and what have we done – to capture, and to betray, these creatures? What are these animals doing as we look at the sliver of their existence that is frozen and framed in the moment of each photograph? What kinds of movements, instinctual urges, behavioral patterns are suggested in the picture? And more to the point, what sorts of movements, instincts, and behaviors are suppressed in these images? A large “negative text” pervades Jaschinski’s photography. We are asked to see many things – habitat, activities – that are not there; we are confronted with their absence.
By Jim McKinniss
The G2 Gallery will premiere Clyde Butcher’s Visions of America, an exhibition of photography curated by Jolene Hanson. Consisting of over 30 signed, editioned silver gelatin prints, the exhibit brings together some of Butcher’s most beloved images from America’s National Parks, including Yosemite and the Florida Everglades. Art historians have called Butcher the natural successor to master photographer Ansel Adams. While Butcher is deeply influenced by the landscape photography of Adams, he prefers a more intuitive approach to capturing light, guided more by emotion and sense of place than the technical calculations that were Adams’ hallmarks. To make his visions come alive Butcher uses cameras ranging from 4”x5” up to 12”x20” requiring the use of custom-built enlargers to accommodate his massive prints. Clyde Butcher 2-2-2
In addition to being known for his large-format, black & white photography, Butcher is also his activism, which has brought international attention to the environmental issues facing the Florida Everglades, where he make his home. G2 Gallery director Jolene Hanson states, “Clyde’s passionate sense of place, and commitment to this fragile eco-system as revealed though his photography, is at the root of why his work is the perfect complement to The G2 Gallery’s environmental mission.”
The G2 Gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance on Friday, January 20, 2012, from 6:30–9:00 pm.
Guests planning to attend the reception should RSVP in advance to http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2504581270.
An artist’s talk will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2011, at 7:00 pm. Tickets can be obtained at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1960420671.
Admission to all exhibit-related events is $5 and will directly benefit the World Wildlife Fund. Additionally, The G2 Gallery will donate all proceeds from art sales to the World Wildlife Fund. A selection of work by Clyde Butcher will also be on view at The G2 Gallery’s booth at the LA Art Show in the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A, from January 18–22. Tickets to the LA Art Show are available at http://laartshow2012.eventbrite.com/.
Location: The G2 Gallery (www.theg2gallery.com)
1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291-3742
Tel. 310.452.2842, E-mail email@example.com
Contact: Gia LaRussa at 310.428.7752 firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Shader Smith at 310.386.6803 email@example.com
By Jim McKinniss
I’ve found that the great and near great photographers all possess a keen intellect. Many of you reading this will recognize the name Hiroshi Sugimoto. Sugimoto is (possibly) known best for his Seascape and Theaters projects.
I was looking at his website a few days ago and saw a page called Colors of Shadow. The images above and the text below are from that page. You may judge for yourself the nature of his intellect.
Colors of Shadow
Starting from cracking nuts with rocks like apes, the use of tools has undoubtedly added to human acumen. The use of tools as extensions of our hands has greatly expanded our interaction with nature. Over such interactions, we’ve also acquired mental habits. In making arrows to shoot
birds in flight, we’ve had to understand how birds fly, as well as how to flake and grind stone to make arrowheads. No sooner had humans grasped the notion of vertical gravitation and begun to walk upright, freeing our hands from ground movement, than we started picking things up as
tools and so developing our brain.
I myself have done my share of inventing tools for realizing various art projects. My studio is more of a workshop Often they just don’t sell the tools I need for the job: like a simultaneous vertical- horizontal agitator to prevent uneven film developing for my Seascape negatives, or an “time- lapse anti-slip device” for shooting my Theaters, or a “super-wide angle bellows” for my
I’ve learned many things from using my hands. While I’m still not sure about the nature of light – whether it’s waves or particles – I’ve learned a thing or two about shadows. Thinking to devise a way of observing shadows, the project escalated into a major undertaking, requiring an entire hilltop penthouse in an older apartment in Tokyo. When surfaces receive light, the light effects varies according to the angle of exposure. Selecting three distinct angles -90°,55° and 35° – had the walls surfaced using traditional Japanese shikkui plaster finishing, which absorbs and reflects light most evenly. In the morning light, the shadows play freely over the surfaces, now appearing, now vanishing. While on rainy days, they take on a deeper, more evocative cast. I’ve only just begun my observations, but already I’ve discovered a sublime variety in shadow hues.
– Hiroshi Sugimoto
By Jim McKinniss
dnj Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, “Encaustic Noir” by Helen K. Garber, to inaugurate Noirfest Santa Monica 2012. In Gallery II, we present a selection of vintage works by famed Parisian photographer Brassai and several of his contemporaries.
In her new work, Garber recycles imagery from an earlier photographic body, using a layered, textured technique to create completely new work. “Spending months on a 40-foot long technical nightmare for the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture started me thinking about … working with texture and dimension. I felt that I had mastered the 2-D image and that it was time to move on to something new.” Taking her inspiration from film noir of the 40’s and 50’s and German Expressionism, Helen K. Garber’s work is evocative of the minimal black and white cinematic style. Garber uses an encaustic process to adhere her vintage negatives, printed on handmade papers, to reclaimed and salvaged wood scraps found locally in her local Ocean Park Historic District neighborhood and to finish with a fresh coating of beeswax and twine sourced locally from an old independent Venice shop. In this series, Garber has artistically found a way to reinvent her photographic library into work that is entirely new, with stronger, descriptive and expressive qualities.
This is Helen K. Garber’s second show with dnj Gallery. In the 2010 group exhibition, “Night Lights,” her series of photographs, “Venice/Venezia,” was included. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally, with her most recent exhibition held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin Ireland. Garber’s work can be found in numerous museum collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the George Eastman House International Museum of Film & Photography in Rochester, NY and the Brooklyn Museum. Garber resides in Santa Monica and maintains a studio on Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach, CA.
dnj Gallery is also very proud to showcase a collection of vintage noir photography by artists Brassai, Paul Almasy, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Maurice Georges Chanu, Robert Doisneau, Andre Kertesz, Jean Prevel, Geza Vandor and Sabine Weiss. Each vintage print is rare, highly collectible and selected to showcase Paris by night. Images portray from high society, the intellectuals, the ballet, the grand operas, as well as scenes from the dark, bleak side of Paris. Brassai once wrote that: “he used photography in order to capture the beauty of streets and gardens in the rain and fog, and to capture Paris by night.” His iconic images, and those of his colleagues, have defined the Paris mystique.
SHOW DATES: January 14 – February 25, 2012
RECEPTION: Saturday, January 14, 7-9 pm
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm
2525 Michigan Avenue, Suite J1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Telephone (310) 315-3551
Contact: Melissa Parkerson firstname.lastname@example.org
By Jim McKinniss
ROSEGALLERY is pleased to announce Voyage en Egypte – new photographs by German photographer, Elger Esser. The exhibition will be on view 03 December, 2011 through 18 February, 2012.
For his latest body of work, Elger Esser traveled along the Nile from Luxor to Aswan with an 8 x 10 land camera, photographing the banks of the river, traditional feluccas, dahabiyas, and fisherman. Taken from a great distance with the artist’s signature precision and formal grace, the photographs of Voyage en Egypte are calm, grandiose landscapes in addition to being provocative meditations on light, space and color. Large expanses of water and sky in dissipating pastel hues form the cornerstone of these compositions, while the land and civilization itself provide sharp but remote horizon lines which are dwarfed by the natural elements. Like 19th century landscape paintings, which are strongly echoed in these works, Esser’s latest photographs capture an element of the sublime in nature. The mystery and beauty of the river, which has been the lifeline of Egypt since the Stone Age, is elevated in these images, and like his previous work, they strategically blur the line between pure documentary photography and painterly concerns. RoseGallery’s exhibition marks the debut of Voyage en Egypte in the United States and is the first in-depth presentation of Esser’s work in Los Angeles.
Elger Esser was born in Stuttgart in 1967 and was raised in Rome. In 1986, he moved to Dusseldorf, where he worked as a commercial photographer until 1991. He then attended the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie, Studying with Bernd and Hilla Becher until 1997. His work has been published in several monographs published by Schirmer/Mosel Verlag including Vedutas and Landscapes, 2000; Elger Esser, Cap d’Antifer-Etretat, 2002; Anischten/Views/Vues, 2008; and Elger Esser, Eigenzeit,, 2009. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Kunstpreis der Stadt Dusselfdorf, Forderkoje Art Cologne, Friebe Gallery, and the Deutsches Studienzentrum Venedig. Esser’s pictures are included in numerous public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Guggenheim Foundation; Kunsthaus, Zurich; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
For more information. Please contact Shaun McCracken at email@example.com
ROSEGALLERY is located at Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Avenue, Building G5, Santa Monica, CA 90404
By Jim McKinniss
M+B is pleased to present Pale Subtropical Light, a selection of new works by Matthew Porter.
The exhibition comprises a critical photographic inquiry into the career and legacy of Hollywood icon Jane Fonda, mid-century modern architecture in California and historical locations such as the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana. Pale Subtropical Light runs from January 7 through February 11, 2012, with an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, January 7 from 6 to 8 pm.
The exhibition’s six discrete subjects are threaded together to form a reticulated pattern of overlapping subject matter. The title is lifted from “Eureka!,” a 1978 essay by John Gregory Dunne. The essay tracks the attitudes of New York City literati toward his decision to move to Los Angeles in 1964 and their unfounded accusations that he traded the cultural capital of opinions for the cultural capital of images. Los Angeles is often described in terms of mirages and dreams, so it is fitting that Dunne uses hallucinatory imagery to describe his attachment to the city: “I am . . . attached to the deceptive perspectives of the pale subtropical light.” His description of quotidian beauty is used to counter the observations of others on the city in which he lives. He writes of the chimerical possibilities of “psychic and physical slippage” that a place like Los Angeles can instill in the astute observer, using examples of the disconnect between history and experience. In the exhibition, the various pictures explore the relationship between the vivid imagery of historical American myths and the iconicity of the photographs (or lack of) that represent them.
In 1972, Jane Fonda traveled to North Vietnam. Like hundreds of other Americans before her, she was seeking to confirm rumors of the deadly effects of chemical weapons and the bombing of civilian targets by the American Military and to deliver mail to American POWs. On her last day there, she was driven to the site of an anti-aircraft gun emplacement (inactive at the time), surrounded by American, Japanese and Vietnamese journalists, and casually directed to sit at the helm of the weapon. Members of the local community sang Fonda a song, and she responded with an emphatic performance of a Vietnamese anti-war song written by students in Saigon. It was a rapturous moment. Everyone applauded, and Fonda, exhausted by the manic pace of her tour, clasped her hands together and thanked her hosts. A photograph from this encounter became the focal point of the 1972 short film titled Letter to Jane, a footnote to Tout Va Bien, and a pinnacle of Goddard pedagogy. Fonda survived her time in the jungle, but the legacy of those photographs continues to stalk her.
This exhibition runs January 7 – February 11, 2012
Artist’s Opening Reception: Saturday, January 7, 2011 from 6 to 8 pm
M+B Gallery is located at 612 NORTH ALMONT DRIVE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 90069
Phone: 310 550 0050
By Jim McKinniss
In conjunction with Pacific Standard Time, dnj Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition “Then and Now,” a group exhibition consisting of eight Southern California photographers: Darryl J. Curran, Robert Fichter, Robert Flick, Suda House, Patrick Nagatani, Jane O’Neal, Susan Rankaitis and Robert von Sternberg. In the late sixties and seventies, New York and Paris may have been considered to be the hub of the art world with the accepted aesthetic traditions. Los Angeles was artistically less structured, allowing its artists to explore ideas outside of the mainstream. “Then and Now” highlights artists who defied common conventions and experimented with techniques and innovative uses of contemporary subject matter.
This exhibition will trace the stimulating progress of these photographers who flourished within the Southern California environment. It will show the full trajectory of their development, to work completed in the present day (and with a similar ideology). Each of the eight artists will showcase a few two-photograph pairings of their work. Each pairing will consist of a piece from ‘Then’ shown side by side with another piece from ‘Now.’
For the past forty years, these artists have sought to expand the definition of ‘photography’ through significant experiments with non-traditional methods, such as abstraction, conceptualism, multiplicity of meanings and subjectivity, appropriation, light as subject, emphasis on banality, camera-less image-making, obsolete photographic printing processes, slide projection, collage making and collaboration. The artists discovered and embraced a broader potential of their art, and developed their own means of creative self-expression, separate and apart from the conventional paradigms.
Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980
Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Initiated through grants from the Getty foundation, Pacific Standard Time will take place for six months beginning October 2011.
Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.
This exhibition runs November 19, 2011 through January 7, 2012
dnj Gallery is located in Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Suite J1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
tel: (310) 315-3551
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm
By Jim McKinniss
The following article appeared in the Entertainment section of The Los Angeles Times on December 4, 2011. The article was written by Irene Lacher. This article is copyrighted by the appropriate parties.
The author of ‘Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and the Bohemians of Los Angeles’ discusses the artist, his muse and his early years in L.A.
Beth Gates Warren, a former director of Sotheby’s photographs department, exhumes details about Edward Weston‘s lost years in Los Angeles from 1906 to 1923 and his relationship with a highly influential model, muse, photographer and lover in her new book, “Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and the Bohemians of Los Angeles” (J. Paul Getty Museum).
Why was so little known about Edward Weston’s early years in Los Angeles?
He basically wanted it that way. He destroyed virtually all of his autobiographical writing prior to 1923 when he departed L.A. for Mexico. And most historians took their cue from him and began writing about his career as though he really began working in Mexico. And that was not the case at all. He actually spent a decade here in Los Angeles building his early career.
What piqued your interest in this?
I had read his daybook, which is what unpublished journals were called, and I learned that they had been heavily edited and that he’d destroyed a portion of them. And I became curious about why he had done that. And I also learned that a woman named Margrethe Mather had been his model in many of his early photographs, and yet he barely mentioned her in his journal. And I just found that strange. There was only one important mention of her in his journal and that was that she was the most important person in his life. And yet he made no effort to explain what he meant by that. And so that statement in combination with the fact that she appeared in so many of his photographs and the fact that he had destroyed so much of his own writing made me curious. I wanted to know why.
Who was Margrethe Mather?
She came to Los Angeles around the same time he did. She later told a friend of hers that she’d been a child prostitute and that she had to leave Salt Lake City because there were people who’d found out about her activities. In later years, she was a prostitute, but I doubt that’s why she left Salt Lake City. A friend of hers tried to find out more about her early life and couldn’t, but that was because Margrethe Mather wasn’t her real name, and I was able to track down several of her distant relatives and they told me her name was actually Emma Caroline Youngren.
When she came to Los Angeles, she became a member of the Los Angeles Camera Club and an amateur photographer. And she had an inherent talent for design and composition, so she very quickly became known because she showed some of her photographs in photographic salons, which were the only way photographers could get their work seen because photography wasn’t exhibited in museums in those days.
And so she met Edward Weston in 1913 through a friend and they very quickly became involved romantically, although Weston was already married and had two children. And she worked with him for an entire decade until he left for Mexico in 1923.
I had the sense from your book that you were at times more impressed with Mather because she was more focused on advancing her artistry and he his career.
Yes, that’s true. She was not a self-promoter. She did not need the kind of attention that Weston seemed to need, and of course he was trying to support a family and needed to build his reputation. She was on her own, but she was also less interested in fame and more interested in the art itself. And I think she was responsible for changing Weston’s attitude, because when she walked into his studio in what is now Glendale — it was an area called Tropico then — he was a very conventional photographer. And once he became more involved with Mather, he began to become an artist.
Did she influence his work more specifically?
I think her eye was in some ways more critical than his. She introduced him to the concept of arranging sitters in less conventional poses, and she encouraged him to utilize composition and line and texture to create a mood — in short, to think like an artist rather than a commercial photographer. And she was an excellent printer herself. And she influenced the way he looked at the world. She brought people from the literary world onto Weston’s horizons, and she was also a friend of Charlie Chaplin‘s. She introduced him to dancers and actors.
Can you talk a little more about their circle of artists and bohemians?
There was a fairly large group of creative people who lived in Los Angeles in the teens and ’20s for a variety of reasons, and one of the key reasons was the movie industry, which attracted writers and designers and photographers. They came to California because they could actually make a living here. So the people who came here were after fame and fortune, and some of them succeeded, like Charlie Chaplin; others were not so lucky, like Florence Deshon, who was a reasonably well-known stage actress and model in New York. Samuel Goldwyn brought her out to become one of the premier actresses at Goldwyn Studio, but she did not persevere and she couldn’t make a living. She was involved with Charlie Chaplin for a while. But as soon as that relationship ended, publicity about her career also ended. And she wound up going back to New York City and committing suicide.
But some of the people who traveled to Los Angeles weren’t involved in the entertainment business. They were coming out here for political reasons. Emma Goldman came out to California on a regular basis. So did Max Eastman, who was the editor of two socialist publications.
Rudolph Valentino lived for a short time right across the street from Margrethe Mather. Boris Karloff lived up the block. There was an amazing array of talent descending on Los Angeles because of all the opportunities here. In a way, the area around Bunker Hill and Silver Lake and Echo Park was the Montparnasse of Los Angeles.
For a year Weston and Mather were equal partners in a photography studio. Why did their relationship end?
Their relationship came to an end because [actress] Tina Modotti walked into his life. Tina was then married — quote unquote, she wasn’t really — to Roubaix ["Robo"] de l’Abrie Richey. In spite of that, Weston never let a marriage license come between him and a romance. So he started a relationship with her. Robo went to Mexico and died there from smallpox. So now all of a sudden Tina wasn’t married or attached to anyone, and Weston thought Mexico was so appealing. Glendale he thought was dull and boring, and Mexico offered lots of artistic opportunity. So he thought that would be a good way to escape from Glendale and family responsibilities, and he and Tina went to Mexico in 1923.
By Jim McKinniss