Monday, November 24, 2014

Abelardo Morell: Some Recent Pictures at Edwynn Houk Gallery

OCTOBER 23 - DECEMBER 20, 2014

Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Abelardo Morell (American, b. Havana, 1948). Following his inaugural exhibition in 2013 with Galerie Edwynn Houk in Zurich, this show marks the artist’s first exhibition at Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York. The sixteen large-scale photographs on view will highlight the scope of Morell’s most recent subjects and his continued experiments with perception. The artist will be present at the opening reception on Thursday, 23 October from 6-8pm.

Reveling in the expectations of the photographic process, Morell’s work is charged with discoveries concerning optics, aperture, exposure, and most notably, camera obscura. Since 1991, Morell has been using the camera obscura to effectively turn entire rooms into cameras: the outside world is transposed onto the interior, creating unexpected and often surreal imagery. In Camera Obscura: Late Afternoon View of The East Side of Midtown Manhattan, 2014 (pictured), the New York City skyline floats over two mysteriously lit doors and the two worlds are flattened into one imaginary place.

To further explore the camera’s ability to capture time and place, Morell invented the “Tent-Camera,” a portable light-proof tent that uses a periscope to project the outside landscape onto the ground inside the tent. This enables him to utilize the process of camera obscura in unusual and remote locations. In these works, the resulting image compresses the view and the exact spot he stood to see it. Whether it is the cobblestone streets in Toledo, cracked pavement at Yellowstone National Park, or home plate of Wrigley Field, the technique results in an abstract, tactile and more painterly image that captures more faithfully the experience of that time and place, rather than serving as a document or mechanical record.

Morell moves seamlessly between those works, while also creating still lifes of found and everyday objects that he transforms in unexpected ways. By playing with scale and eliminating hints of context, paper bags are transformed into monumental, abstract sculptures, while the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art become a study of minimalist lines. Sheets of paper form portraits and endless columns, and oil paintings from the Barnes Collection are re-arranged to create the semblance of an entirely new and disjointed depiction of a building.

The breadth of Morell’s subject matter in the last year alone demonstrates his continued interest and success in exploring various methods of picture-making. Alternating between technologically complex techniques and deceptively simple studies, Morell’s work always begs for a closer look and multiple viewings, and inspires a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around us.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

David Benjamin Sherry at Danziger Gallery and Salon 94

September 07, 2014–October 25, 2014
Salon 94 Bowery - Website link
David Benjamin Sherry is an explorer. He is a master of bold, sensual color. He ventures deep into the American wilderness and reimagines the surfaces of nature as if seen through a kaleidoscope. Part-archeologist and part-futurist, Sherry uses 8x10 film negatives and analogue techniques in order to speak to new technologies and our changing physical world.

Sherry’s latest works take on photography’s canonical genres, including landscape – which he is most well known for – as well as still life, portraiture, the nude, collage and darkroom photograms. There are more waterscapes than landscapes – it’s a murkier, more mysterious realm. Many of these compositions sit at an uneasy intersection of travel photography and surveillance imaging. A sunrise behind a boulder in the water is somehow both a picturesque postcard and a strange alien spotlight. Another large-scale image of ripples on the surface of a body of water, without a horizon, are stained glowing, neon red, a color that implies blood or a dangerous kind of heat as if on a topographer’s or meteorologist’s map – though not quite the right shade of either.



Danziger Gallery is pleased to inaugurate its new space at 521 West 23rd Street with the first New York show of David Benjamin Sherry’s mono-color landscapes – a series of analog photographs taken in 2013 and 2014 as the artist traveled through the Western and Southwestern states. Seeing the world in both a heartfelt and postmodern way, Sherry turned his pictures into vividly colored renditions of the American wilderness, transforming iconic vistas and familiar panoramas into large scale color fields.
Using a traditional handmade wooden camera, and shooting with the f/64 aperture beloved by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston and their namesake f/64 group, Sherry maintained the eponymous sharpness while employing a scale barely imaginable to his predecessors.  In this way, Sherry’s images invite the viewer to get lost in extreme levels of visual information while being seduced by the emotive power of color.
Blending truth and the photographer’s conservationist intent with a contemporary view of the role of the photographer/artist, Sherry’s landscapes remind us without preaching of the inherent value that exists in any natural resource – what it offers, what it represents, and ultimately, its ability to connect us to a broader experience.

Friday, April 25, 2014



Essay by Natasha Egan, short story by Barry Lopez
Photographs by Victoria Sambunaris

For more than a decade, Victoria Sambunaris has traversed the
United States equipped with a 5 x 7 wooden field camera, sheets
of color negative film, and an “unrelenting curiosity to understand
the American landscape and our place in it.”

There are two volumes included in this first book on Sambunaris’
work. Volume 1 contains a full retrospective selection of images
from 2000 to 2013. Volume 2 is a photo documentation of the artist’s
collected ephemera that she gathers on her travels, including
books on geology and history, maps, artifacts such as mineral
specimens, journals, road logs, as well as her small photographic
sketches. There is also an essay from MOCP Director Natasha
Egan, a reprinted short story by Barry Lopez titled “The Mappist,”
and a full chronology of the artist’s career.

For more information:
tel: 505.983.4068

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Better" Charity Auction - ends March 21st

The “Better” exhibition and auction is the culmination of the collaboration between Vs. Magazine and its guest editor, Helena Christensen. The auction features one-of-a-kind, signed artworks from internationally acclaimed photographers, actresses and models. All proceeds will directly benefit the charitable organizations Every Mother Counts, David Lynch Foundation and Chernobyl Children International.

More information about the auction can be found here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

"What Could Be" a new monograph by David Hillard

David Hilliard’s panoramas direct the viewer’s gaze across the surface—allowing narrative, time and space to unfold.  He draws from personal histories to create new, imagined realities.  Hilliard has exhibited nationally and internationally, and is the recipient of prestigious awards including a Fulbright grant and Guggenheim fellowship. 
Exploring lives lived and imagined, what we long for and what we obtain, the photographs in What Could Be follow a semi-autobiographical progression of the artist’s explorations of family, societal norms, relationships, and moments of personal discovery in understanding concepts of masculinity.
Hilliard’s gentle diptychs and triptychs conjure a world that begins with our realities but moves beyond. He chooses to see, and to create, beauty in the narratives he imagines for himself, his friends, and striking strangers he encounters. Some of his subjects are frosted with perfect light and rich, dripping colors redolent of the peak of summer; others are subdued, bearing an uncertainty and fragility that so often accompanies the process of self-awareness.
The monograph includes an interview with the artist by Pam Houston and an essay by Ariel Levy. 
"What Could Be" is currently in production by Minor Matters Books. Find out more here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rania Matar at Carroll and Sons


RECEPTION: FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2013, 5:30 - 7:30


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lalla Essaydi at Edwynn Houk

MAY 16 - JUNE 22, 2013 

Edwynn Houk Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of large-scale photographs by Lalla Essaydi from the artist’s most recent series, Harem Revisited and Bullets Revisited. The show will be on view from 16 May through 22 June 2013 with an opening reception for the artist on Thursday, 16 May from 6-8pm.

Lalla Essaydi was raised in Morocco and spent many years in Saudi Arabia, and although she was educated in Europe and the US and now lives in New York, this experience of traditional Islamic life was fundamental to her unique approach to the examination of the identity of the Muslim woman. Utilizing a unique working method and set of visual devices that she initiated in 2003 for the iconic series, “Converging Territories,” Essaydi applies many layers of text written by hand with henna in Islamic calligraphy to the subject’s faces, bodies, and environments. Then, she arranges her subjects in poses directly inspired by 19th Century French painters such as Ingres, Delacroix and Gérôme, whose Orientalist paintings featured the harem and the eroticized Arab female body. Using the perspective of an Arab woman living in the West, Lalla Essaydi reexamines and questions this representation of the Arab female identity.

“The physical harem is the dangerous frontier where sacred law and pleasure collide. This is not the harem of the Western Orientalist imagination, an anxiety-free place of euphoria and the absence of constraints, where the word “harem” has lost its dangerous edge. My harem is based on the historical reality; rather then the artistic images of the West – an idyllic, lustful dream of sexually available women, uninhibited by the moral constraints of 19th Century Europe.” Lalla Essaydi, 2010

While Essaydi’s new work continues to explore this theme, the subjects of Harem Revisited are clothed in elaborate caftans and their environments are now covered with these richly adorned fabrics. The draperies are dense and have such rich embroidery and complex patterns that when seen altogether, the effect is dizzying, essentially turning the women themselves into objects of decoration, camouflaged within their environments. They become, in effect, a metaphor for the essence of Essaydi’s exploration. These vintage textiles, which were created between the 17th century to the early 20th century for use in wedding ceremonies, to decorate palaces and the harem area, were all generously loaned to Essaydi from the Nour and Boubker Temli collection.

In the works from the Bullets Revisited series, a scene is set in the sort of room one finds in Orientalist painting. Each room – its tiles, woodwork, and other décor, as well as the women’s clothing- is reproduced in faithful detail. But these scenes are created with bullet casings that turn the domestic space into a psychological one, charged with the violence within contemporary society.

Lalla Essaydi’s work is represented in a number of collections including The Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; The Columbus Museum Of Art, Ohio; SF MoMA, California; the Jordan National Museum; the North Carolina Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; The Arab Museum of Modern Art, Qatar; The British National Museum, London; The Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian; and Le Louvre Museum, Paris, France amongst many others.