Plenty for photography fans to see this fall
This one recently opened at the University Art Gallery, tucked away on the second floor of EMU’s Student Center, and it includes about two dozen thought-provoking works by nationally and internationally praised photographers including Angie Buckley, Angela Faris Belt, Byron Wolfe and others.
“The idea of the exhibition came from Angela Faris Belt’s book ‘The Elements of Photography,’” explains Jennifer Locke, EMU’s director of gallery programs. “The works vary between dealing with time, the question of what a photograph is, how the lens works, what the frame does, and it turns out it’s a pretty beautiful show. It’s a traveling exhibition that’s headed off to several other places after our opening show.”
Faris Belt’s black and white images are easily some of the strongest in the show, with “Flocking” looking like a haunting still from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” and the spider in “Spider’s View” depicted with such uncanny trompe l’oeil presence that you’ll swear it’s real, not a photograph. The work of Thomas Kellner is also strikingly inventive, as he combines multiple photographs of familiar landmarks such as Stonehenge and the U.S. Capitol building to make collages that look like cubist paintings and disintegrating Lego sculptures.
Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe take a time-jumping approach in “Four Views From Four Times and One Shoreline, Lake Tenaya,” incorporating long-ago images from photographic icons Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Eadweard Muybridge into their own panoramic vistas of the stunningly beautiful Lake Tenaya in Yosemite National Park.
Technically sophisticated and loaded with lovely work that will stop you in your tracks, Elements of Photography continues at EMU’s University Art Gallery until October 2. More information at EMU's Ford Gallery web site.
Get a look at what's on display in "Elements of Photography":
Michigan native Richard Barnes is the subject of exhibitions at UMMA, the U-M Institute for the Humanities and the Cranbrook Institute of Science, plus you’ll have an opportunity to see the acclaimed artist discuss his work when he speaks at 5:10 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 17 at the Michigan Theater as part of the Penny W. Stamps Lecture Series.
“Richard Barnes began his career doing architectural photography,” says Chrisstina Hamilton, director of the Penny Stamps series. “His career really took off in the last ten years. He won the Rome Prize for a piece called ‘Murmur,’ where he photographed starlings flocking over Rome. It’s astounding; it’s sort of beautiful and terrifying. But he’s perhaps best known for photographing the cabin of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.”
Barnes will be talking about his ongoing "Animal Logic" project at the Michigan, which is featured at the just-opened exhibition at UMMA. “He’s really obsessed with natural history museums,” says Hamilton. “He’s interested in containment, in how we preserve and catalog the wild, and explores the human impulse to collect and interpret objects from the wild. His work to me is so double-edged. On the one hand it’s so comforting to preserve and collect things, but he also unveils the absurdity and obscenity of cataloging.”
The Penny Stamps Distinguished Visitor Series is just getting started with its fall series of lectures, which will also bring to the Michigan such influential thinkers as Whole Earth Catalog creator Stewart Brand and architect Bernard Khoury. Full schedule details available at the U-M School of Art & Design web site.
Top photo: "Convene," 30" x 40" silver gelatin print by Angie Buckley, 2006. Second photo: "Giraffe," 48" x 60" digital c print by Richard Barnes, 2005.