New York Postcard: Busted Viewfinders

Art Life , Stuff Oct 27, 2017 No Comments

George Shaw, from the home of one hour martinizing!

 

Parallels I, 2017

Progression One, 2017

Progression Six, 2017

Progression Six, 2017 (detail)

Progression Two, 2017

Now in her eighth decade, Barbara Kasten continues her experiments with amalgams of photography, drawing and sculpture, at Bortolami. Progressions is a body of photographic hybrids: face-mounted photographs with geometric acrylic shapes affixed to their surfaces. Kasten is interested in working beyond photographic representation to address spatial ambiguity, while emphasising the duality of the photographs and reliefs’ sculptural forms. She calls the shapes and shadows they cast “temporary photograms.” The floor sculpture Parallels, with its cantilevered acrylic components, balances colour and form to establish a formal, modernist, geometric order.

The African Choir (Final), 2016

The African Choir (Final), 2016 (detail)

Peter the Great (3), 2016

Autochrome II, 2016

Three Young Girls, 2017

 While they look abstract up close, from a distance Nathalie Boutte’s sculptural paper works at Yossi Milo reveal re-interpretations of iconic and historical photographic images that show representational biases of their time. These large, painstaking “collages” are constructed by dyeing or printing Japanese rice paper with various densities of ink to create lighter and darker tones. The paper is then cut into four-inch lengths, the strips pasted together in rows, as if Boutte were layering new meaning to the depiction of the subjects, whether discriminated or venerated. Boutte is self-taught.

Untitled 005, 1998

Untitled 018, 1998

Untitled 118, 2004

Untitled 108, 2009

Untitled 135, 2006

 The viewfinder on Mikiko Hara’s 1930s camera doesn’t work, so she shoots from the hip, sort-of and proverbially. The show’s title, In the Blink of an Eye, 1996-2009 at Miyako Yoshinaga, reflects Hara’s intention to “grasp ‘empty’ moments in the blink of an eye before they form any meaning.” Her opaque, square images are devoid of high drama, there are no historical or geographical references to go by, and they could be placed anywhere, any time. When the camera views and shoots from mid-body, images are hard to artfully frame.

George Shaw

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