Saturday, September 17, 2011

Art Review: 'Photography into Sculpture' at Cherry and Martin

The Getty driven PACIFIC STANDARD TIME: ART IN L.A. 1945 – 1980 is off to a great start and the Cherry and Martin Gallery is a fantastic example of what we can expect to see in the coming months with their Photography into Sculpture exhibition featuring dnj Gallery artist Darryl Curran!

Be sure to check out dnj Gallery's "Then and Now" exhibition opening November 19th as part of PACIFIC STANDARD TIME: ART IN L.A. 1945 – 1980.

Robert Heinecken
Robert Heinecken

“Photography Into Sculpture” was a groundbreaking show when it appeared at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970, and it is significant still, in its reprised version at Cherry and Martin. On its first go-round, the show introduced to New York and the other cities on its two-year tour a new, expansive mode of photographic art that originated on the West Coast. This time, as a fine exemplar of the Getty-driven Pacific Standard Time initiative, “Photography Into Sculpture” reintroduces L.A. to a momentous chapter of its own history.

MoMA curator Peter Bunnell organized the 1970 show, spurred by his encounter with the work of Robert Heinecken (then teaching at UCLA) and crystallized by an exploratory visit to Los Angeles. Of the 23 artists in the show, most were from the West Coast and nine came from L.A. Cherry and Martin has rustled up most of the original pieces that Bunnell selected, works that dissolved the photographic image’s age-old marriage to paper, freeing it to swing with plastic, wood, glass, fabric and more.

Bunnell later recounted a revelatory visit to Richard Jackson’s Pasadena studio, where the artist showed him a set of negatives produced by a shutterless, handmade camera. Bunnell asked Jackson if he had printed the images and remembers the artist answering, “Am I supposed to? Must I?” The conventional, causal route from negative to print was no longer a given — in California, at least — but instead simply one option among many.

In Jackson’s “Negative Numbers,” two large film negatives are taped to plexiglass panels and propped up in front of bare light bulbs on a wooden table. In each image, Jackson’s ghostly figure appears behind a row of numbers — his Social Security number and draft number — that he wrote in the air with a flashlight during the exposure. That the government-assigned numbers are darker and more prominent than Jackson’s own faint bodily form gives this record of private performance a subtle political edge.

Other artists in the show infused their work with a Pop sensibility, conceptual twists and visual puns. Michael de Courcy’s cardboard cartons printed with images of birds, the sea and sky reads like a lyrical riposte to Warhol’s Brillo boxes of just a few years earlier. Jerry McMillan’s paper bag fashioned out of a photograph of a wrinkled paper bag delightfully fuses image and object, and is one of many lighthearted tweaks on the referential function of photography.
Some of the works in the show are goofy, dated and clumsy — Lynton Wells’ lifesize stuffed photo-doll, for one — but the takeaway lesson overrides such weaknesses. Such is the folly of a single linear historical narrative: Just when a cohort of artists in the late ’60s were dematerializing art, asserting its importance as idea more than thing, others, gathered in this show, were busy materializing it in new ways. They reveled in photography’s tactile possibilities and shifted the medium’s operative verb from "taking" pictures to "making" them.

By: Leah Ollman

Cherry and Martin
2712 S. La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 559-0100

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cynthia Greig News

Several of Cynthia Greig's "Nature Morte" photographs and videos will be included in the upcoming exhibition titled, "Nothing to Say" which opens this Friday at The University of Michigan's Jean Paul Slusser Gallery in Ann Arbor.

Curated by fellow artist Kathleen McShane, the exhibition is concerned with examining nothingness, quiet, less is more, what is there and not there, and nonsense. The title comes from John Cage who commented, "I have nothing to say, and I’m saying it" when referring to his 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence performance. The exhibition suggests that "nothing" can actually evoke "everything," or at least an unexpected fullness (as in Cage’s silence).

September 9 - October 7, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, September 9, 6-9 pm

Exhibiting artists include:

Lynne Avadenka
Jim Cogswell
Iris Eichenberg
Cynthia Greig
Paul Kotula
Michael Krueger
Melanie Manos
Stephen Prina
Jon Swindler
Cody VanderKaay

Jean Paul Slusser Gallery
The University of Michigan
2000 Bonisteel Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Friday, September 2, 2011

Darryl Curran News

Congratulations to dnj Gallery artist, Darryl Curran, for his inclusion in Photography Into Sculpture taking place at the Cherry and Martin Gallery September 10 - October 22, 2011.
There will be an opening reception Saturday, September 10 from 6-8pm.

Carl Cheng
Carl Cheng, U.N. of C., 1967, film,
molded plastic, Styrofoam and Plexiglas,
15 x 20.75 x 9 inches

Cherry and Martin will restage curator Peter Bunnell's landmark 1970 exhibition, "Photography into Sculpture", at the gallery as a part of the Getty Museum citywide initiative, Pacific Standard Time.

Photography into Sculpture stands as one of Peter Bunnellʼs great contributions to the history of photography. Described in the original wall text as “the first comprehensive survey of photographically formed images used in a sculptural or fully dimensional manner,” Photography into Sculpture brought together a cross-section of artists from across the United States and Canada. The show encapsulated the radical gestures of late 1960's photographic practice, both inside and outside the photo world. Los Angeles-based artists such as Robert Heinecken, Richard Jackson and Jerry McMillan were brought by Bunnell into a context with such remarkable figures as the Fluxus artist Robert Watts and early Vancouver photo-conceptualists Michael de Courcy and Jack Dale.

The exhibitionʼs legendary tour began at the Museum of Modern Art and continued on to The Krannert Art Museum, The Menil Collection, the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Phoenix Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and, finally, Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. The full artist list was: Ellen Brooks, Robert Brown, Carl Cheng, Darryl Curran, Jack Dale, Michael de Courcy, Karl Folsom, Andre Haluska, Robert Heinecken, Richard Jackson, Jerry McMillan, Bea Nettles, Ed O'Connell, James Pennuto, Joe Pirone, Douglas Prince, Dale Quarterman, Charles Roitz, Leslie Snyder, Michael Stone, Ted Victoria, Robert Watts, and Lynton Wells.

The majority of the original works from Photography into Sculpture will be on view at Cherry and Martin. Also included in the show will be a number of related artworks by the Photography into Sculpture artists from the same time period. Cherry and Martin has confirmed participation with all of the original artists except Karl Folsom, Ed OʼConnell, Joe Pirone and Leslie Snyder. Any information as to their whereabouts would be deeply appreciated, as the gallery has thus far been unable to locate these four artists. Cherry and Martin will organize a catalog that will include a new interview with Peter Bunnell about Photography into Sculpture; new essays on the exhibition; new photography of the objects; and a selection of original source documents.