Comments/Context: The tight group show now on view at Michael Mazzeo is an exploration of a narrow slice of abstraction in contemporary photography, the complex use of natural forms and processes being the common theme to these particular works and artists.
While I found all of the works in the exhibit intellectually thought provoking (how could the use of bacteria in the emulsion, direct images of the sun, and swirling flora embedded in sculptural blocks of Lucite not be intriguing at some level?), the two standout sets of work to my eyes came from Sebastian Lemm and Chris McCaw.
In Lemm's series Strata (image top right), the artist builds up dense black and white images composed of thinly layered tree branches, taking Harry Callahan's multiple exposure tree pictures to their ultimate end point. The works have a delicate, all-over line drawing effect.
McCaw's solarized works are made via extended time exposures of the sun, creating burns, scrapes and scars on the paper (image at right, bottom). Spots and trails of light skim across otherwise darkened skies. What I like about these works is the feeling of the process almost out of control; instead of a run of the mill photogram, these images have crossed the line, gotten burned or charred, and therefore become something altogether more real.
Overall, I found this to be a well edited show of complementary artists, each working along the outer edges of photography, exploring how process and abstraction come together.Collector's POV: Here's a quick rundown on all the prices: Charland's works are priced either at $1500 or $2500 based on size; Erroi's works are priced between $1700 and $4000; Kim's works are either $2200 or $4000, again based on size; Lemm's works range from $800 to $6000 based on size, and McCaw's works are priced between $2000 and $6000.
Rating: * (one star) GOOD (rating system described here)
- Caleb Charland artist site (here)
- Christian Erroi artist site (here)
- Yong Hee Kim artist site (here)
- Sebastian Lemm artist site (here)
- Chris McCaw artist site (here)
Through June 20th
Michael Mazzeo Gallery
526 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001