Friday, July 21, 2017

Roei Greenberg, Brian McClave and Sergio Purtell, Location, Location, Location @The Ildiko Butler Gallery at Fordham University

Recently I was showing my work to friend, and after going through a bunch of large format pictures I had done, we started looking at some of my recent hand held digital photographs. My friend remarked that in the new work I hadn’t been so concerned with the formal aspects of framing my images. It stuck with me, that on some level, I don’t know what she is talking about. I know the history of photographs, but my understanding of the formal history of painting techniques is rather rudimentary. This all happened right before seeing Location, Location, Location, and what struck me about the show is what a nice progression from right to left, of examples of the formal aspects of photographing landscapes. First, Roei Greenberg, who makes very still, clean, exacting color photographs of Israel. Each image has a centered subject matter, and very little of importance falls off the edge of the frame. The light is bright but neutral, creating a world where the subject matter seems more seen than created, resulting in an objective look at a land that rarely exist in such neutrality. Then Sergio Purtell, with his dense, angular, formal high wire acts of Brooklyn, where he layers information on top of information, using foregrounds with useful information that compete with compelling stuff in the background. Purtell makes work that feels created in the artist’s eye, and the resulting images are a formal representation of dense complicated urban living. Finally, Brian McGlave’s black and white polaroids of his childhood home. Here remnants of the polaroid and the dark prints create a completely subjective view of place as seen not only through McGlave’s camera but also through his memory of place. The show collapses the three version of space into a loop of objective to subjective versions of the world. It is fitting that the show is co-curated by two long time photographic educators, Joseph Lawton and Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock.

Through October 2nd
The Ildiko Butler Gallery (113 W 60th St., Btw. Columbus & Amsterdam Aves.)


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