Photo LA 2020 and Open Show LA: Observations


By Gerhard Clausing •

Even when you have only one day available to visit this annual show, the benefits are great. Galleries, individual photographers, and publishers and book authors and editors are available to discuss their various creative efforts with photo and book collectors and fans. Associated events, especially Open Show LA, are a shared platform for presenting new work as well.

This  year I found the following particularly notheworthy (check out the pictures below the text too):

21st Editions presented the works of Wesley Channell in a project that applies artists and concepts to the notion of the body as canvas, resulting in a collaborative effort with the models painted and photographed, and involving the viewer who reacts to the works against a rich background of multiple meanings. An iconic  image from this project is shown above, ©2019 Wesley Channell.  The work has also just been published in book form, Human Canvas, to be reviewed shortly in the PhotoBook Journal.

Another discovery was the work of Marcel Sternberger, a 20th century photographer who had a psychological approach to portraiture and knew some of the most prominent members of society. The collection of iconic portraits and important intellectual contributions was recently discovered and is being curated by Jacob Loewentheil, also soon to be reviewed.

Handmade books employing a variety of special printing techniques, especially unique prints by analog methods and derived processes, were another highlight. Marquand Editions and Veritas Editions showed collector books of museum quality that are amazing treasures. Jim Fitzgerald exhibited special hand-made carbon transfer prints, also bound into a special book edition.

Last, but certainly not least, was the session produced by Richard S. Chow and Jonas Yip for Open Show LA. Ellen Friedlander showed an amazing project of self-portraits that helped her cope with a difficult transition in her life. Helene Koch presented three sets of work dealing with perception of things around us, with particular attention to form and color. The work of Jamie Johnson involved the lives of the Irish Travellers; this project is about to be published as a book, Growing up Travelling, with Kehrer. Fred Brashear Jr.  introduced us to his project dealing with the loss of joshua trees in the desert, which, amazingly enough, is printed on paper he makes from the wood of these trees (see below).

So even in one day (Feb. 1) I saw and heard a whole bunch of interesting things to share with you.

Success and good luck to everyone!



The cover of Wesley Channell’s Human Canvas, published by 21st Editions. This collaborative image, also shown as the opening image, was inspired by Klimt



Steven Albahari, Publisher of 21st Editions, in conversation with Douglas Stockdale, Editor and Publisher, PhotoBook Journal



The Marcel Sternberger Collection



One of the many projects by Marquand Editions



Jim Fitzgerald and his carbon transfer art



Richard S. Chow, moderating the Open Show LA session



Jamie Johnson presenting her Irish Travellers project



Fred Brashear Jr. showing one of many joshua tree images on joshua wood paper (most of them are monochrome)


As documented by Gerhard Clausing © 2020; all other art © of the respective photographers and/or publishers.

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