Hannah Whitaker’s Cold Wave work is showing at M+B Gallery in her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
This show expands on Whitaker’s interest in the Austrian logician Kurt Gödel who introduced the notion of unknowability to mathematics, a field often characterized by certainty. His ideas problematized early 20th century philosophical claims to truth and knowledge, a dialectic inherent to the medium of photography. Whitaker’s interest in Gödel led her to think of the film plane as a formal system—a set of limited variables and operations. The results establish repetitious motifs that occur both within a single image and across multiple photographs.
Employing a 4×5 view camera, she photographs using the intervention of hand-cut paper screens, often layering as many as fifteen in a single image; at times shooting through the screens and at others using them to deform an image selectively after it is shot. These in-camera processes allow her to collapse various moments in time and space onto a single sheet of film. The resulting photographs are suspended between multiple dualities: the handmade and the technical, the geometric and the photographic, the flat and dimensional, or—in the lexicon of Rosalind Krauss—the antireal and the real.
The notion of a formal system is reinforced by her use of the constitute parts of her process as subjects in their own photographs. In Cutouts (Green), Cutouts (Pink) andCutouts (Orange), Whitaker photographed the paper detritus left behind after cutting her paper screens. She arranged these cutouts on colored paper backgrounds that reappear in different forms in other photographs, establishing material linkages across multiple works. While the photographs contain abstract elements, Whitaker’s subjects can be thought of as resolutely depictive in their familiarity—wintery landscapes, women and still lifes of banal objects. These conventional subjects are thoroughly recognizable, despite gaps in their representation. In Torso, for example, a body remains a body despite its distortions.
Many of the screens draw from 20th century abstract artists, such as Sophie Taeuber-Arp, David Bomberg and Anni Albers, in addition to applied artists such as quiltmakers Annie and Mary Lee Bendolph. Whitaker’s patterns employ illusory logic that is undermined by the messiness of photographic depiction, the imperfections in the paper itself and—at times—the pattern’s refusal to adhere completely to its own rules.
Hannah Whitaker (b. 1980) received her BA from Yale University (2002) and MFA from ICP/Bard (2006). Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Galerie Christophe Gaillard (Paris), Thierry Goldberg (New York), Locust Projects (Miami) and Rencontres d’Arles in France, where she was nominated for the Discovery Prize, along with group shows at Cherry and Martin (Los Angeles) and Higher Pictures (New York). She recently co-edited Issue 45 of Blind Spot magazine and co-curated its accompanying show at Invisible Exports in New York. She is a contributing editor for Triple Canopy, an editorial group included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Whitaker lives and works in Brooklyn.
This show runs through April 26, 2014
M+B is located at 612 North Almont Drive
Los Angeles, California 90069
Phone: 310 550 0050
Email: info [at] mbart.com
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10AM – 6PM
By Jim McKinniss
Most photographers know the name Robert Mapplethorpe but few know that his younger brother, Edward.
The following text is from Edward’s website: http://edwardmapplethorpe.com/
Born and raised in New York, Edward Mapplethorpe began his solo career in 1990 under the pseudonym Edward Maxey and was quickly acclaimed for his luminous nudes, portraits, and still lives that were evocative of his older brother, Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989). However, it was his innovative work beyond the controlled environment of the studio (Undercurrents, 1992-94) that first distinguished him as a unique talent in bridging the gap between photography and abstract painting.
Mapplethorpe continued to incorporate a painterly aesthetic in a number of subsequent thematic projects including: Stars and Stripes (1994),Transmographs (2000), Compositions (2002) and HAIR Transfer(2004). In 2004, Mr. Mapplethorpe collaborated with New York City based orchestra EOS and produced a limited edition portfolio of images capturing musicians in a whirlwind of movement as they performed selected pieces from their repertoire. This adaptation of the cageian concept of integrating chance and time into the creative process became another integral aspect of Mapplethorpe’s own artistic practice.
All the while, Mapplethorpe had been photographing one-year-old babies. This subject is a versatile means for him to explore the human spirit through fresh and unguarded expressions. Promoted in House and Garden Magazine as one of the top commissioned photographers of baby portraits, the magazine compares him to his older sibling with whom Edward worked closely for many years. The artist has affirmed that assisting his brother has greatly contributed to the development of the distinct and pure quality of these photographs.
In 2002 Mapplethorpe stepped away from photography for the first time to create dynamic, abstract drawings on paper. They are a continuation of the artist’s exploration of compositional space and abstractions of portraiture using charcoal, ink, watercolor and pencil.
Shiseido la Beauté organized the solo exhibition HAIR Transfer in 2004, marking Mapplethorpe’s first use of hair as a medium. In 2007, a solo exhibition of TimeLines at Foley Gallery, New York proved to be a watershed moment for the artist. Mapplethorpe returned to his formal exploration of line by combining the gestural impulses of action painting with non-camera photographic techniques. His use of human and animal hair to “draw” his compositions allowed for a complex play between control and randomness that continues to structure and temper his work to the present. This show traveled in 2008 to Germany and was exhibited at artMbassy, Berlin. Concurrently, Mapplethorpe exhibited a new body of work, TimeZones at Ketterer Kunst, Berlin. These two exhibitions, collectively titled TimeLines / TimeZones, traveled to Galleria Casagrande in Rome, Italy in April 2009.
In May 2011 Mapplethorpe exhibited The Variations at Foley Gallery, New York. This series continued to push the artist’s practice of harnessing darkroom techniques to create photo-based drawings that are at once organic yet highly technical in their creation. This exhibition traveled to Dubner Moderne in Lausanne, Switzerland in October 2011. The artist lives and works in New York.
By Jim McKinniss
I met Bootsy at an event called “Six Shooters” at Venice Arts. The event showcased six female photographers. The event is part of Open Show Los Angeles that is co-produced by Jonas Yip and Dan Shepard.
Open Show Los Angeles provides a forum for our local community of visual storytellers to share their projects. Each month photographers, filmmakers and multimedia producers of L.A. gather at different venues around town for an evening of live presentations and lively conversations.
By Jim McKinniss
A collection of iconic and rarely seen portraits of visionaries, leaders, writers, actors, artists, musicians and notable personalities from the 20th Century.
To look upon someone extraordinary, who has achieved greatness against great odds. To be moved by an image of one who has touched upon the lives of thousands. To seek knowledge and understanding. To find inspiration.
These are the experiences we seek when confronted by a great portrait. The figures captured in this exhibition were extraordinary, exuding character and living lives of triumph and disaster. The photographers who captured their essence, by necessity required a technical prowess but more importantly possess depth, empathy and pursue a true understanding of the human condition.
Portraits are certainly the great power in photography. They are the great confluence of documentary and artistry. Our natural voyeuristic condition draws us in and the medium allows us to feel an element of intimacy. A great portrait will explore the nuances of character and in some rare cases a portrait will truly capture an emotion. As viewers we are given license to share that feeling, to be drawn in, to be moved and to walk away inspired.
The Exhibition will include works by…
Henri Cartier Bresson
… and more.
This show runs March 15 – May 31, 2014
Peter Fetterman Gallery
2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: 310 453 6463
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm
and by appointment.
By Jim McKinniss
All of these photos and the following text appeared in the February 28, 2014 issue of Aline Smithson’s blog called LENSCRATCH.
Sara Jane Boyers’ new project, GRIDLOCK, reflects life behind the wheel in one our largest cities, Los Angeles. There is a good possibility that we might be sitting in traffic when we attend her opening at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles on March 8th running through April 13th (opening March 8, 5-7pm). But it we will use her philosophy of looking at bumper to bumper traffic with visual potential. Her continuing project is a series of photographs shot from her car window while stuck in traffic. Sara comments: “GRIDLOCK is about being a Californian. About being in a car. About traffic. I am photographing from my driver’s window, first with my viewfinder-less Leica D-Lux3, and now the D-Lux5. Stopped. Crawling. Trapped. Riding on the clutch as I stay in 1st should the flow move on. Hoping to catch that elusive abstraction even while those behind me glower and gently nudge my car along.” The exhibition also includes the work of Domenico Foschi and Sol Hill.
Sara Jane is California fine art photographer who, after successful careers in the music and publishing industries, has returned to a serious focus on her photography. She has exhibited at the Craig Krull Gallery and her has been included in museums, galleries and photo festivals including a GETTY PST exhibition at the Vincent Price Art Museum; Western Australia’s FOTOFREO Biennial; DESIGN/REACTION at the Pasadena Museum of California of Art; as well as two MOPLA exhibitions, the second organized and co-curated by Boyers; and SUMMER MIX, also co-curated by Boyers for LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Photography Department. She is the recipient of two 2011 and four 2012 IPA Honorable Mentions for her work.
This is a project I cannot say that I looked for. Rather, it is about being immobilized, involuntarily confined and not in control; stuck in the all too commonplace bane of modern metropolitan life: traffic that seems to have no beginning, no end, and is incomprehensible as to its life-cycle.
The unsought and unseen has always fascinated me and that is what I face in this world within our freeways and by-ways, not only in Los Angeles but especially here. Stopped in this place of presumed mobility, taking photographs transported me from confinement to freedom, at least in creative vision if not movement.
You can view Sara’s work at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles
8783 Beverly Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
By Jim McKinniss