Jonathan Smith: Untold Stories

JONATHAN SMITH

UNTOLD STORIES

September 16 - November 13, 2010

 

Opening September 16th, Rick Wester Fine Art will present an exhibition of recent color photographs by Jonathan Smith, a British photographer living and working in New York for ten years. Saturated with an intense palette and dramatically cinematic, Smith's images are redolent of the mysteries of Raymond Chandler and the visual impact of contemporary film-noir sensibilities. Each picture evokes a tale of its own. One view shows an alarming orange interior seen through a living room window, echoing the drop of a blood red lamp, faint through a thick fog in a long shot of a midtown apartment building at night. Like the chapters of a novel, the photographs form a composite of grit and elegance with characters conveying a disassociated expectation, quiet but ready for life. Emerging from shadows, the sitters are interwoven in an elusive narrative with hidden identities and concealed motives, unknown to the viewer. The exhibition is a mosaic of motel rooms, roadsides, streets and cityscapes. The passions of the sitters are more implied than documented, sensual, but never explicitly carnal. Smith's use of lighting and décor emotionally augment his true subjects - the colors of night air and the abandonment that floats in it.

Jonathan Smith studied in the United Kingdom at the Kent Institute of Design (KIAD) and the International Center for Photography in New York. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery and PowerHouse Arena as well as having a one-person exhibition at The International Center for Tolerance Education of "The Bridge Project," a series of photographs of New York. He has been the recipient of a number of awards for his work including The Magenta Foundation, Flash Forward award (May 2010), the PDN Annual Awards in the Personal Category (May 2010) and the Photography Book Now Blurb award (September 2008).

From 2000 until 2009 Smith worked in the studio of the renowned New York photographer, Joel Meyerowitz. In 2001 he assisted in Meyerowitz's archive, advancing to Archive Manager in 2003 and becoming heavily involved in the photographer's World Trade Center and Parks Department archives, both of which are now part of the Museum of the City of New York. Additionally, Smith printed for the studio and was involved in the curatorial and production sides as well. His work has appeared in Metropolis and View magazines, PDN, Art and Architecture and The Royal Photographic Society Magazine.

The exhibition opens on September 16 and runs through November 13, 2010. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10-6pm, and Saturday, 11-6pm. For further information and images, please contact Kendra Eberts at +1 (212) 255-5560 or rwfa@rickwesterfineart.com. 

Big Girls: Large Format Photographs by Women Photographers

BIG GIRLS

LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHS BY WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS

May 20 - July 30, 2010

 

Big Girls: Large Format Photographs by Women Photographers at Rick Wester Fine Art (RWFA) features a variety of compelling large-format photographs by women artists. On view from May 20 to July 30, 2010, the exhibition encompasses a host of themes within the theme, including portraiture, figure studies, abstraction, autobiography, and fantasy.Ranging in age from their early 20s to their 60s, the artists are Meghan Boody (US), Sandi Haber Fifield (US), Sharon Harper (US), Mona Kuhn (Brazil), Jocelyn Lee (US), Bea Nettles (US), Heli Rekula (Finland), Melanie Schiff (US), Erin Wahed (Canada) and Pinar Yolaçan (Turkey/US).

"The impetus for the exhibition was to create a showcase around several works collected by the gallery and my personal collection," says owner Rick Wester. "The concept had its genesis in 2002 with the acquisition of Jocelyn Lee's Untitled (girl with long hair standing in water), and continued to grow over the years."

Works on view range from a site-specific grid installation of 21 photographs by Sandi Haber Fifield, Looking Inward / Looking Out, 2 (2010) that will be situated in odd places near the gallery's ceiling in diagonally opposite corners, to a handmade accordion book, Hair Loss (2007) by Bea Nettles — the longtime doyenne of alternative photographic processes — that documents the loss and eventual regrowth of her hair due to chemotherapy treatments.

Photographs that look to the female figure as symbol and allegory include; Heli Rekula's Overflow (2004) from the performance series Desire, where the artist photographs herself being showered in a white milk-like liquid that forms a second skin over her muscular physique; Pinar Yolaçan will debut two works from her ongoing project, Mother Goddess. Yolaçan looks back in time and creates nearly life size odalisques of large women dressed in skintight, full-length body suits. Based on prehistoric mother goddess figurines excavated in the Hacilar region of Turkey, Yolaçan's figures are uncomfortable and shocking in the way the body suit both constrains and reveals the model.

Other highlights include Sharon Harper's large-scale minimalist compositions of the night sky from her Moon Studies and Star Scratches series (2003-2009), and from the youngest contributor to the exhibition, Erin Wahed, saturated prints of otherworldly abstract landscapes.

The exhibition opens on May 20 and runs through July 30, 2010. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10-6pm, and Saturday, 11-6pm. For further information and images, please contact Sarah Stout at +1 (212) 255-5560 or rwfa@rickwesterfineart.com. 

RWFA at AIPAD Photography Show NY

March 18-21, 2010

 

As part of AIPAD's special events, Rick will be moderating a conversation at the Park Avenue Armory in the Veteran's Room on Saturday 20th at 12pm:

New Topographics: Landscape Photography Then and Now

The 1975 exhibition, New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape, signaled the emergence of a new approach to landscape photography emulated by generations of photographers. A new version of this seminal exhibition is currently touring eight international venues. This discussion will focus on the impact of both exhibitions and the role of landscape photography today.

 

Moderator:

Rick Wester, Rick Wester Fine Art, New York

 

The Panel:

Artist Frank Gohlke; Theresa Luisotti, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica; Alison Nordström, Curator of Photographs, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY; Britt Salvesen, Department Head and Curator, Photography Department, Prints & Drawings Department, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Sharon Harper: One Month, Weather Permitting

SHARON HARPER

ONE MONTH, WEATHER PERMITTING

March 4 – April 24, 2010

 

A NEW PHOTOGRAPHIC SERIES EXPLORES THE SPECIFIC — AND INFINITE

Since the earliest days of the medium, photographers have turned their lens towards the heavens at night. Now, beginning March 4, 2010, Rick Wester Fine Art (RWFA) presents a contemporary investigation comprised of a complex and resonant series of photographs of the night sky by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based photographer and video artist Sharon Harper. Orchestrated with time exposures that create arresting, minimalist compositions, twelve 40 x 30 in. black and white and color photographs will be on view through April 24, 2010 as part of the exhibition, One Month, Weather Permitting.

The images on view capture long-exposure star trails over Banff, Alberta, Canada. To create what she refers to as "star scratches," Harper exposed sheets of film for several nights in a row, re-exposing the film using different camera orientations. As in previous bodies of work, the artist embraces environmental and technical interruptions as the gifts and vagaries of the photographic process.

In Harper's words, the photographs contain "chance compositions, acknowledging that the sublime resists imposed structure." The series exists as a controlled experiment resulting in star trails that can only be captured through the camera with random results. Comprised of fluid and serene translations of the sublime through technological endeavors, Harper's photographs continue to mine the relevancy of nature's grandeur today.

Currently an assistant professor of photography at Harvard University, Harper's work was shown in New York in 2001 in a one-person exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the first in the museum's "First Exposure" series. Sylvia Wolf, then the Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney, said Harper's images were "beautiful, spiritual, metaphoric."

The artist's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Galeria Arnés + Röpke, Madrid, Spain, and at Galerie Stefan Röpke, Cologne where her work is also represented, at Sebastian Fath Contemporary in Mannheim, Germany and has been in group exhibitions at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, the Wallraff-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, Germany, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York among others. Her work resides in several collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Bayerische Vereinsbank, Munich, Germany; and the Sprint Collection, Kansas City, Kansas.

The exhibition opens on March 4 and runs through April 24, 2010. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10-6pm, and Saturday, 11-6pm. For further information and images, please contact Sarah Stout at +1 (212) 255-5560 or rwfa@rickwesterfineart.com.