October in Maine…

Posted in EXHIBITS/SHOWS, Maine on October 9, 2014 by voxphotographs
Portland Montage©Corey Desrochers. At URBAN, now through November 1.

Portland Montage©Corey Desrochers.  15 artists exhibiting at URBAN, now through November 1 at VoxPhotographs in Portland.

 

VoxPhotographsURBAN - 15 artists – September 18 through November 4

Gas Lights (Neon Series)©Dave Wade. 15 Artists on view at URBAN, now through Nov. 1 at VoxPhotographs.

Gas Lights (Neon Series)©Dave Wade. 15 Artists on view at URBAN, now through Nov. 1 at VoxPhotographs.

 

Maine Museum of Photograhic ArtsValeri Nistratov – The Local Identity of Contemporary Euroasia, through December 29.

Enjoy Love©Valeri Nistratov. At the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts, through December 29.

Enjoy Love©Valeri Nistratov. At the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts, through December 29.

Maine College of Art, Charles C. Thomas GalleryMark Marchesi, Recent Work, through December 17.

Port Maitland Wharf, Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, 2013©Mark Marchesi at MECA Charles C. Thomas Gallery through December 17.

Port Maitland Wharf, Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, 2013©Mark Marchesi at MECA Charles C. Thomas Gallery through December 17.

Susan Maasch Fine ArtSean Alonzo Harris,  Fruitful, through October.

Sean Alonzo Harris, Fruitful, at Susan Maasch Fine  Art through October.

Sean Alonzo Harris, Fruitful, at Susan Maasch Fine Art through October.

 

PhoPa GalleryMichael Kolster: Proving Ground – September 17 through October 25

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October’s highlights!

Posted in EXHIBITS/SHOWS, New England, NYC, Other on October 9, 2014 by voxphotographs
Larry Clark, Untitled, 1963 from the series Tulsa, 1971. Now at the Chrysler Museum of Art through January 25, 2015

Larry Clark, Untitled, 1963 from the series Tulsa, 1971. Now at the Chrysler Museum of Art through January 19, 2015

 

PENNSYLVANIA:

James A. Michener Art MuseumWendy Paton: Nuit Blanche – through December 7.

TEXAS:

Amon Carter MuseumAlfred Stieglitz: The Art of Photogravure – through October 19

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GEORGIA:

High MuseumWynn Bullock: Revelations –  through January 18, 2015. Gordon Parks: Segregation Story opens November 15 – June 7, 2015.

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VIRGINIA:

Chrysler Museum of ArtLarry Clark: The Tulsa Portfolio - through January 19, 2015

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Trafalgar Square©Stephen Wilkes. Day to Night at Peter Fetterman Gallery September 27-December 31.

Trafalgar Square©Stephen Wilkes. Day to Night at Peter Fetterman Gallery (CA) September 27-December 31.

CALIFORNIA:

Cantor Arts Center at Stanford UniversityRobert Frank in America – through January 5, 2015

Fraenkel GalleryRobert Adams: A Road Through Shore Pine - through November 15

Peter Fetterman GalleryStephen Wilkes: Day to Night – through December 31

The J. Paul Getty Museum - Minor White: Manifestations of the Spirit – through October 19

Contemporary Jewish MuseumArnold Newman: Masterclass – October 23 – February 1

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MASSACHUSETTS:

Museum of Fine Arts, BostonTruth and Beauty: Pictorialist Photography – through February 22, 2015

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NEW MEXICO:

New Mexico History MuseumPoetics of Light: Pinhole Photography – through March 29, 2015

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NEW YORK CITY:

Aperture GalleryThe New York Times Magazine Photographs – through November 1

Anastasia PhotoMatt Black: From Clouds to Dust – through October 19

Keith De Lellis GalleryExperiments in Abstraction – through November 8

Rick Wester Fine ArtSharon Harper: Shifting Views - through November 1

Howard Greenberg GallerySaul Leiter – through October 25

Staley-Wise GalleryHorst: Shadow and Light - through November 1

Julie  Saul GalleryShai Kremer: World Trade Center: Concrete Abstract – through October 25

Steven Kasher GalleryPaul Kooiker – through October 25

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MISSOURI

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of ArtAcross the Indian Country: Alexander Gardner - July 25 – Jan. 11, 2015

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Nehalem Split, 2013©Robert Adams. Now through at Fraenkel Gallery.

Nehalem Split, 2013©Robert Adams. A Road Through Shore Pine at Fraenkel Gallery through 15.

In Maine – SEPTEMBER!

Posted in EXHIBITS/SHOWS, Maine on September 2, 2014 by voxphotographs
Go Blog About It©Heath Paley. At URBAN, VoxPhotographs, 334 Forest Ave., Portland. Through November 4

Go Blog About It©Heath Paley. At URBAN, VoxPhotographs, 334 Forest Ave., Portland. Opens September 18 through November 4

VoxPhotographs – URBAN – 15 artists – September 18 through November 4

Portland Twilight©Liv Kristin Robinson. At URBAN - through November 4 at VoxPhotographs in Portland.

Portland Twilight©Liv Kristin Robinson. At URBAN – September 18 through November 4 at VoxPhotographs in Portland.

 

PhoPa GalleryMichael Kolster: Proving Ground – September 17 through October 25

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Living and Sustaining a Creative Life

Posted in Photography Books, READ THIS!, REVIEWS on May 19, 2014 by voxphotographs

I requested Living and Sustaining a Creative Life – Essays from 40 Working Artists, edited by Sharon Louden, from Maine’s InterLibrary Loan (ILL) program and was pleased to find it available – only one copy at this point – but I was encouraged that at least MECA had it in its stacks and was willing to share it. Of any place this book should be, it’s MECA.

Unknown

Even though it’s around $35, I would suggest any artist making, or planning to make his/her living as an artist, invest in a copy as soon as possible. Reading it could save you from falling into the black hole of idealism, or provide a ladder for you to climb out of a hole you’ve found yourself in while trying to make “it” happen.

The 40 essays really are well-edited and surprisingly readable. Once in a while you get the sense an artist enjoys a little too much the experience of writing about ME ME ME, but the overall and engaging frankness of the essays makes this book a powerful resource for other artists, yes, but also gallerists and curators. (And, I should add, the family members sharing the journey with those who have made the huge commitment to making a career as an artist. I have been married to a painter for over 40 years, and have been a gallerist for 7. I found it extremely valuable reading from both of those vantage points.)

Here are 40 stories by artists about the ups and downs they have experienced trying to make a living. The sheer number of essays really gives this book credibility for me. You just can’t have an agenda with 40 people telling their stories. What struck me as I worked my way through the book over a week’s time is the similarities that start to take shape in these stories. Many artists pay their way by teaching, others by working jobs in art galleries and museums, still others by obtaining public art commissions and grants. And one of the most important points made by almost every artist is that there are people in their lives without whom they could not have made it happen.

Another comment about how important associations are is the one that really sticks with me as I finish up this important and long overdue publication: Artist Brian Tolle writes: “Ultimately, the key to running my studio relatively successfully has been my ability to interweave all these realms of art; to be nimble, to recognize the strengths and talents of the people working with and for me, and never associate myself with those who say that something cannot be done.”

I agree completely. If you don’t have that kind of spine, choose another way of life. Being an artist is not for the fainthearted.

 

Justin Kirchoff: “Half-Life” at the George Marshall Store Gallery

Posted in EXHIBITS/SHOWS, Maine on May 2, 2014 by voxphotographs

Definitely Justin Kirchoff is justified in making a big deal of being 40. It’s a complicated time psychologically – you feel free, you feel old, you feel anxious and regretful, you feel an odd relief, and deep panic. It’s not the same as a “mid-life crisis”. Those are all about denial. At 40, you figure you’re halfway “there”, and now you need to figure out how to make the last half count.

Half-Life – now on view at the George Marshall Store Gallery in York through June 1 – is a show of 14 exquisitely crafted silver gelatin (and one digital print) prints by Justin Kirchoff  – and the works express just the right kind of limbo – you’ve got one foot on the shore of youth, (and here is where some people get permanent neck cramp looking back at what is lost), while your other foot is trying to find secure placement facing forward so you can set off with a strong and sure stride towards…well, who knows? And that kind of says it all.

Doorway©Justin Kirchoff

Doorway©Justin Kirchoff. All Rights Reserved

Justin’s psyche is seriously impacted by the birth of a daughter, Parrish, in 2002. He buys a house somewhere in there, and his dad is hospitalized. Yep, the past, the present and the future, comin’ at ya.

The 15 images on exhibit represent the years from 2007 – 2014. It felt motley as a group to me when I viewed it, but after hearing from Justin about how he selected these particular images to be exhibited together, I’m less concerned with that and think the lack of fluidity may be part of his point. But I do think these particular images could have been installed differently, and that would have allowed the viewer more engagement. A long artist’s statement tries to bridge the gap between artist and viewer, but like almost every artist’s statement out there, it’s more a philosophy paper and waaay too much information for what is supposed to be a visual experience. A statement comprised of a couple of sentences, together with a more coherent installation would have allowed the photographs to do the talking and that is a very, very big point with me. Why do visual artists feel such a strong need to verbalize their work? (see my most recent addition to PHOTOQUOTES on the VoxPhotographs website here)

 

House of Cards©Justin Kirchoff. All Rights Reserved

House of Cards©Justin Kirchoff. All Rights Reserved

The strongest images are those which make composition a priority, like “House of Cards” above. It’s a brilliant concept content-wise, totally supported by the design of the image. Another image “Rough House” shows father and daughter in the midst of a rowdy moment indoors, but the design of the piece, together with Justin’s perfect expression of “how did I get here?” combine to make it a total success.

The picture below, “Snow Flake Study” was a good choice for the exhibit flagship image for two reasons; it’s an excellent example of how Justin addresses the sidebars instead of the more obvious headlines of life at 40. (You can also see this insight in “Ramp Test” – a seemingly innocuous photo that, upon longer engagement, is closer to stand-up comedy: Justin designing a ramp for a small dirt bike using a precariously thin sheet of plywood and large plastic garbage cans.  Oh, the things we do!) But “Snow Flake Study” speaks so eloquently of Justin’s love for his daughter and the single-most important need any child has: our total attention.

Snow Flake Study©Justin Kirchoff. All Rights Reserved

Snow Flake Study©Justin Kirchoff. All Rights Reserved

One last little treat as you reach the end of the exhibit is the image “Invisible Man” – you’ll get a grin at no cost for your trip to see this show – the cherry on top, so to speak.

By the way, Justin Kirchoff is the recipient of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Artist Advancement Grant, and it’s a darn generous grant. This “Momentum XII” exhibit is under the Foundation’s auspices. The Foundation’s grants are limited to a very small region of Maine and New Hampshire, but check it out. It may be worth moving!

UMMA – recent photograph acquisitions on view!

Posted in EXHIBITS/SHOWS, Maine on April 1, 2014 by voxphotographs

The recently received brochure from the University of Maine Museum of Art includes “Looking Back Six Years – Part One” – an exhibit opening April 4 (through June 7) that highlights photograph additions (through purchase and artist gifts) to the Museum’s permanent collection since 2008.

There are approximately 40 images on view and it is very much worth a trip to enjoy this strong presentation. Most of the images celebrate people, but there are a few vintage and contemporary NYC images to round it out.

The Night Before, 2009 Gelatin silver print Museum Collection: Stebbins and Schildknecht Fund

The Night Before, 2009
Gelatin silver print©Ilya Askinazi
Museum Collection: Stebbins and Schildknecht Fund

 

We also LOVED the creations of Jay Kelly, represented by Jim Kempner Fine Art, NYC. They are truly original and highly entertaining to spend time with!

Enjoy these creations by Jay Kelly - Works from 2007-2014 - while at the University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor. Through June 7.

Enjoy these creations by Jay Kelly – Works from 2007-2014 – while at the University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor. Through June 7.

 

It’s surreal! Get thee to Bowdoin College Museum of Art!

Posted in EXHIBITS/SHOWS, Maine on February 28, 2014 by voxphotographs

Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography just opened this week at Bowdoin College Museum of Art and runs through June 1, 2014.

Space Writing (Self Portrait), 1935©2014 Man Ray Trust. All Rights Reserved

Space Writing (Self Portrait), 1935© 2014 Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY/ADAGP, Paris. All Rights Reserved

This is no “what do we show next?” kind of filler exhibit. With over 60 images on view, from Man Ray to Berenice Abbott, as well as many publications of the surrealists’ works, the viewer taking his/her time here can really learn something. I learned about courage.

The surrealists were basically coming off of the horrific experience of World War I. Frankly, they could be justified in becoming unglued. But instead they fearlessly explored a world outside of reality, and beyond the human everyday experience, and they realized that new world through art.

While Man Ray is perhaps the best known artist represented in this show (including the maker of one of the two films on view), I was surprised to see works by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Manuel Alvarez Bravo, not to mention Eugene Atget. The point this makes is that even if some of the artists whose works are on view were not specifically surrealists, they were very much influenced by their surrealist colleagues, and I think we all know that influence continues to impact artists today.

It’s one thing to realize a work of art that represents what everyone can see. But to take on the challenge of losing yourself in the dark recesses of the mind and trying to realize THAT visually? – that takes courage. And thick skin. These artists went where no artist had gone before, and as you work your way through this exhibit constantly remind yourself of the era in which these risky, daring and very, very edgy works were conceived and presented. Think Salvador Dali and his melting timepieces, etc. I suspect many of these artists were considered quite mad.

Female Nude #24©Andre Kertesz Estate. All Rights Reserved

Distortion #24©Andre Kertesz Estate. All Rights Reserved

Photographs and publications have been loaned to this exhibit from museums all over the country and it was quite a thrill to see so many vintage prints by some of the masters. That opportunity alone is worth a trip for committed practitioners of today. The prints are all small, another reminder of the era they represent, and, you might think, quite a handicap for realizing the abstract depths of the surreal compared to what would be available technologically to those artists today.

The prints included here by artists who were deeply influenced by the surrealists, but who most likely did not consider themselves surrealists at all, show that influence in “straight” photographs that reach to the edge in content and composition. These works imply there is more here than meets the eye, a definite nod to the surrealists’ agenda.

The exhibit will be up for several months allowing us all to visit it more than once. I hope Maine’s fine art photographers will be inspired to break new ground and really push the limits of their visions after spending time with these passionate artists from the past who traveled to new worlds without fear, and in so doing, left a lasting mark on us all.

©Greta Stern Estate. All Rights Reserved

Dream #28©Greta Stern Estate. All Rights Reserved

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