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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Preview: Still Life at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery

Julie Blackmon
  • Julie Blackmon, "Portrait"

The Westside Arts District continues to grow. Last month, Jennifer Schwartz Gallery packed up their location in the TULA Art Center and joined the ranks of Saltworks, Sandler Hudson, Kiang, and others that have been making a name for the neighborhood. Next week, the gallery, which exclusively represents photographers, will exhibit Still Life, a group show featuring work by Julie Blackmon, Michael Marshall, Aline Smithson and Maggie Taylor.

The show brings together photographers whose work explores the relationship and limits between photography and painting. The gallery posits that recent developments in digital technology has made this relationship more fluid: "Painting heavily influenced photography by dictating the aesthetics which the medium should strive toward; however, with the rise of photographic digitization in the past decade or so, photography has exploded as an experimental medium, incorporating almost all painterly techniques."

Check out a few images of work from the show and more information about the artists after the jump. Still Life opens on Fri., April 8 at 7 pm.

Influenced by 17th century Dutch painter Jan Steen, known for his depiction of boisterous family events, Julie Blackmon is interested in the blurring line between art and life. Her work is reminiscent of the Dutch Baroque with it’s precision, attention to detail and sense of humor. The oldest of nine children, and now with three children of her own, Blackmon knows firsthand the chaos of family events. Blackmon has exhibited widely in the United States and her photographs reside in permanent collections such as George Eastman House International Museum of Photography in Rochester, NY and Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX. In 2008, Domestic Vacations, a monograph of her work, was published by Radius Press.

Aline Smithson,  Elvis from Arrangement in Green and Black
  • Aline Smithson, "Elvis from Arrangement in Green and Black"

After a career as a New York Fashion Editor and working along side the greats of fashion photography, Aline Smithson discovered the family Rolleiflex and never looked back. Her work has been featured widely in publications and exhibited throughout the country. Smithson writes and edits Lenscratch blog, which explores contemporary photography and offers opportunities for exposure and community. In the show, her work is a direct play from James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Arrangement in Black and Grey: The Artist’s Mother. In these hand painted silver gelatin prints, Smithson creates varied compositions that explore the fantasy of imagining different identities for those we love.

Maggie Taylor, Oh, happy day
  • Maggie Taylor, "Oh, happy day"

After ten years of as a still-life photographer, Maggie Taylor turned to her computer to create new images in 1996. The resulting photographs start a dialogue with Surrealist painters, such as Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali. These composites of found images, photographed scenes, and digitally manipulated imagery create fantastical dreamworld landscapes. She has participated in numerous solo and group shows throughout the country and abroad, and her work is in numerous private and public collections including Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA and Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX.

Michael Marshall, Pipelines 3
  • Michael Marshall, "Pipelines 3"

Michael Marshall’s multi-layered photographs explore the intersections of science and the left-brained sensibility of intuition and emotion. In these contemporary approaches to impressionistic paintings, Marshall uses fine Japanese tissue paper to create an opaque layered image where the viewer sees through one layer and into another. On view at the gallery will be new works from his “Pipeline” series that are “inspired by the dichotomy of the Gulf of Mexico, beautiful and tranquil (a vacation spot), yet the heart of controversy and disaster, from hurricanes to the recent oil spill.” Marshall is currently the Chair of Photography at the University of Georgia.

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