Peter Fetterman announced a joint exhibition by acclaimed photographers Michael Kenna and Pentti Sammallahti. Representing two of the leading international artists working in the traditional black and white photographic medium, showcasing over forty seminal works by each artist spanning their prolific careers. The exhibition will be the first for Michael Kenna at Peter Fetterman Gallery, and the second for Pentti Sammallahti.
Michael Kenna (England, b. 1953) has long been recognized for the dream-like landscapes that make up the majority of his work and has been exhibited internationally since the late 1970’s. Kenna travels six months out of the year to remote locations around the world and patiently wanders the landscape in search of light and forms that conjure an emotional response. Using techniques of long-exposure and shooting primarily at night or under foggy climatic conditions, Kenna creates ethereal photographs that show a seemingly deserted planet illuminated by a mysterious glow.
After studying at the London College of Printing (1973-1976) Kenna moved to San Francisco where he met master American photographer Ruth Bernhard and became her assistant and printmaker for eight years. In his first retrospective monograph from 1994 Bernhard states, “Michael’s photographs are islands of serenity and silence in a loud and chaotic world. […] His prints are exquisitely seductive, spiritual experiences, akin to poetry or music.” In celebration of his most recent monograph Shinan (Nazraeli Press), a portion of the exhibition will feature new work from the Shinan region of South Korea. Kenna’s photography has been published in over two-dozen books and has been exhibited extensively throughout North America, Asia, Europe and Australia. He is based in Seattle and continues to travel throughout the world making work.
While the work of both artists conjure similar emotional and aesthetic themes of quiet contemplation, they achieve this from vastly different creative approaches. Pentti Sammallahti’s photographs are representative of the Classical Humanist genre, strict composition and practice of “The Decisive Moment”, even being featured at the opening of the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson in 2004 among the French Master’s 100 Favorite Photographers. Kenna’s images, while vulnerable to the spontaneous compositions of the natural world, are the product of dedicated patience and sensitivity to the revealing effects of light and time on land. Their mutual ability to create stunningly poignant photographs is reinforced by the immaculate quality of their printing, both master craftsmen of the ever more endangered silver gelatin process.
Peter Fetterman Gallery
2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
T . 310 453 6463
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am – 6pm
This exhibition runs December 7, 2013 – March 1, 2014
By Jim McKinniss
“Echo Chamber”, an exhibition featuring unique photographs created by John Divola in the late 1980s, is currently being exhibited at Gallery Luisotti. A central component of the exhibition will be a number of 20×24” Polapan prints made at the New York Polaroid Studio in 1987, 1988, and 1989; a pair of related large-scale gelatin silver prints will also be on display. What becomes clear to viewers of the images in “Echo Chamber” is that Divola works between media. He melds sculptural and painterly constructions with photography’s capacity as a documentary medium. The resulting images are visual contemplations of photography’s relation to time, and humanity’s relation to the cosmos.
By the late 1980s, John Divola had developed a unique grammar within his photography. In bodies of work from the 1970s, such as the color Zuma series, or the black and white Vandalism, Divola used his camera to document domestic interiors at the brink of demolition. He favored subjects that could be seen in photographs, but were approaching absence in reality. In order to provoke this difference between photographic stillness and lived time, Divola often marked the spaces he photographed with spray-painted gestures, ad-hoc sculptures, and pronounced artificial lighting. These alterations to reality were not meant to manipulate the viewer so much as to draw attention to the differences between photographic permanence and the disappearance of lived reality.
The photographs featured in “Echo Chamber” furthered Divola’s exploration photography’s essential condition. In Divola’s words, written about the Polaroids featured in “Echo Chamber,” “the photograph as an object has an relationship to that which it represents something like the relationship the snake skin has to the snake that sheds it. The relationship of something dead to something living.” The Polapan prints especially lend themselves to this associate with skin. Their plasticity and their alchemical marks bear witness to a mysterious process of creation; their subject matter conjured up, and then discarded. Divola’s “studio constructions,” as he called them, were temporary structures made solely for the purpose of photographic depiction, including funnels, human and animal figures, and expressively painted backdrops. Divola’s photographs are themselves echo chambers: they replicate and reverberate light from objects that have long since vanished.
Divola’s process has important photo-conceptual precedents: Richard Long’s photographic records of lines made by walking, Jan Dibbets’ play with optical illusion through the camera’s lens, or Robert Smithson’s Yucatan Mirror Displacements. Divola’s work, though, is equally in conversation with the work of Jasper Johns. Johns, known for his paintings of numbers, flags, maps, and targets, focused on flat subjects as a means to conjoining the surface of subject matter with a painting’s flat picture plane. Divola has transmuted the achievements and medium-specificity of high modern painting into images that explore photography’s mimetic qualities and its sheer surface. These are images are about a recognizable reality we cannot access, dim echoes of a familiar world, yet one that has vanished.
This exhibition runs through January 18, 2014
Gallery Luisotti is located at Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Ave. Number a2 Santa Monica California 90404
Tel. 310 453 0043
For more information about the exhibition and artist please contact the gallery directly.
By Jim McKinniss
M+B is pleased to announce Matthew Brandt: Velvet and Bubble Wrap, the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery featuring new work that explores Hollywood as both a construct and a landscape.
Cocaine, the Hollywood Sign, plush velvet, cheap fantasies, interchangeable personalities, identities of affect, trends, bubbles, stars, and slick surfaces—Brandt directly employs Hollywood tropes and transforms them, prodding and mixing the stereotypical, material signifiers of identity in the Los Angeles landscape.
Matthew Brandt’s images physically incorporate the work’s subject matter into his creative process, tethering conceptual creativity to material production and furthering the read. Starry night skies typically obliterated by city lights are elegantly composed in swirls of cocaine on black velvet. Torsos donning patterned and striped shirts are burned and etched onto fields of pristine white silk velvet. Gaps between the letters of the Hollywood sign are printed in hair dye on bubble wrap, glowing in abstracted scenes.
Matthew Brandt (b. 1982, Los Angeles) received his BFA from Cooper Union in 2004 and his MFA from UCLA in 2008. He was recently featured in Art+Auction’s “50 Under 50: The Next Most Collectible Artists” in the June 2013 issue, and his first solo exhibition at M+B in the fall of 2011 was met with critical attention: selected by Modern Painters as part of “The 100 Best Fall Shows” and reviewed in the December/January 2013 issue. Brandt was included in the “The Top 30 Under 30 in Art and Design” for Forbes by Jeffrey Deitch in 2012 and Art in America included him in their “Top Finds at Paris Photo Los Angeles” earlier this year. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Armand Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Bidwell Projects (Ohio), The Sir Elton John Photography Collection, UBS Art Collection, Statoil Collection, Columbus Museum of Art (Ohio), Brooklyn Museum of Art (New York), North Carolina Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Cincinnati Art Museum (Ohio), Royal Danish Library and Wieland Collection, among others. This fall, the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio will open Brandt’s first institutional solo exhibition entitled Sticky/Dusty/Wet, which will travel to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in the fall of 2014. Recent institutional group exhibitions include Land Marks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Reality Check at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Currents at the Contemporary Art Museum (North Carolina) and Staking Claim at the Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego). Matthew Brandt lives and works in Los Angeles.
The opening reception for the artist on Saturday, December 14 from 6 to 8 pm.
For more information, please contact Alexandra Wetzel at M+B at (310) 550-0050 or email@example.com.
By Jim McKinniss
Korean artist Jee Young Lee has been weaving herself into exceedingly clever dream worlds she creates in her studio… and despite their other worldly appearance she uses absolutely no photo manipulation for the end result. In each image you can find Lee’s young figure hidden among the vibrant details of her carefully constructed, set-like pieces – perhaps a hand poking up from the center of a watery vortex of swirling fans, or her body floating in a lotus as in the picture above (inspired by the Story of Shim Cheong, a Korea folktale as well as by Shakespeare’s Ophelia).
By Jim McKinniss
In its first new exhibitions of 2014, dnj Gallery will be showing traditional black and white photographs by Robert von Sternberg in the main gallery. In addition, “Hydrographics” by R. Dean Larson will be featured in Gallery II.
von Sternberg has been active in Southern California photography for several decades. This exhibition
highlights samples of his black and white work spanning from 1962 through the early 2000s. All of the
images in this exhibition were captured on traditional film. Some are classic gelatin silver prints.
Others are carbon ink prints that were created by drum scanning negatives into digital files, then
printing them with an ink jet printer retooled with special carbon ink jets to produce an extraordinary
range of tonal qualities. Though the photographs cover a range of subjects, together they showcase
von Sternberg’s talent for finding and capturing the exquisite, yet easily overlooked moments of
everyday life. Using humor and wit, von Sternberg’s images ultimately lead his audience to the
discovery that in a world saturated with images there is still a reason to look. von Sternberg states,
“Images exist—waiting to be captured. Subliminally, I’m always looking for them. I encounter them
everywhere—on my commute, while attending events and even while traveling.”
von Sternberg started taking photographs in his early years in Hermosa Beach and sold the very first
image he took to Surfer Magazine. He has exhibited his work since the late sixties and has pieces in
numerous private collections and 45 museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Los
Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the International Museum of
Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. von Sternberg’s work is
currently on view at LACMA as part of the exhibition “See the Light – Photography, Perception,
Cognition: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection.”
In “Hydrographics” in Gallery II, R. Dean Larson uses digital tools to explore and extend his artistic
vision beyond the capture of a frame. Larson, who taught traditional photography and darkroom
technique for many years, turns to the newer tools of digital photography and Photoshop to emphasize
the distinctive characteristics of ocean waves. This exhibition features photographs of subjects both
before and after manipulation to demonstrate the differences between the captured image and
Larson’s artistic vision. Drawing upon psychology’s concept of Selective Perception, he explains that
he manipulates his images of the ocean in order to “isolate[ ] certain Elements of Design, such as
Form, Color and Contour, and create[ ] a hybrid image of enhanced and virtual reality…In my
Hydrographics series, I have set out to visually illustrate aspects of the ocean’s water.”
Larson taught photography in the Los Angeles Unified School District for over 30 years. His
photographs have been exhibited throughout the Southern California area, and his work has been
published in numerous outlets. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in psychology, a subject that influences much
of his work.
SHOW DATES: January 11 – February 22, 2014
RECEPTION: Saturday, January 11, 6 – 8 pm
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm
dnj Gallery 2525 Michigan Avenue, suite J1, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 315-3551
Web site: http://www.dnjgallery.net
For additional information or images, please contact Cambra Sklarz at (310) 315-3551 or
By Jim McKinniss
The following text was written by David Rosenberg and it appears along with these photos in Slate.com
Although Richard Tuschman enjoys going to the theater, he is slightly more attracted to the sets and lighting than to the drama unfolding onstage.
He was also attracted to the quiet sense of drama found in the paintings of Edward Hopper, and he used them as a launching pad for a personal project he began almost two years ago titled “Hopper Meditations.”
Tuschman has worked predominately as a commercial photographer, but he has a fine-arts background with a focus on painting, graphic design, and assemblage. He had been making dioramas for a while and wanted to use them to create interior scenes where he would digitally include a figure or two.
To do that, Tuschman began by building the dioramas. Apart from an occasional prop taken from a dollhouse or toy train set, Tuschman builds everything to a scale about big enough for his cat, Smithers, to fit inside. He then photographed his models (he used two women and cast himself for the male character) on gray, using Photoshop to create the final image.
“If it doesn’t take me a long time, it’s really not worthwhile,” Tuschman said, laughing about his process. “These pictures are almost mundane in a way. They’re really quiet and have a sort of psychological overtone to them and that was really appealing to me.”
Although the first image he created (Hotel by Railroad, 2012) set out to replicate a Hopper painting, the more he worked on the series, the less he wanted to create duplicates. “The more I did them, Hopper became more of an inspiration rather than something to copy,” he said.
“I have always loved the way Hopper’s paintings, with an economy of means, are able to address the mysteries and complexities of the human condition,” Tuschman wrote in his statement about the work. “The general mood in my work is more somber, and the lighting is less harsh than in Hopper’s.”
As he nears two years on the project, Tuschman said he’s beginning to crave a new direction for his work, though he’s fairly certain he’ll continue to work with dioramas, saying they give him a lot of freedom and a sense of control. “If I start losing interest, it’s a bad sign,” he said. “I don’t want to simply be known as the ‘Hopper guy.’ ”
By Jim McKinniss
With an emphasis on recent acquisitions, Room to Live features selected large-scale works or single-artist presentations from MOCA’s renowned Permanent Collection. Organized by Curator Bennett Simpson, the exhibition will include works in painting, sculpture, photography, installation, video, and slide-projection by Fischli & Weiss, Nan Goldin, Samara Golden, Rodney McMillian, Ryan Trecartin, and Marnie Weber, among others. Themes of existential questioning and extravagant subjectivity weave among the individual works, many shown at MOCA for the first time.
This exhibition runs until January 13, 2014
250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
By Jim McKinniss