Whether it be the caste system of India, the serfdoms of Medieval yesteryear or the 99% vs. the 1% occupy movement, the disparity between the wealthy and downtrodden has always sparked controversy, concern and wide ranging debates. Back in 1984, Jim Goldberg released Rich and Poor, a portrayal of the American dream in San Francisco featuring both sides of the financial spectrum. An eight year endeavor, when it was finally released to the public, it was met with critical acclaim; notably it was featured as part of the “Three Americans” exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Random House initially published the title a year later.
The L. Parker Stephenson Gallery recently opened an exhibit featuring the work of Belgian Jacques Sonck. Born in 1949, Sonck’s work is sure to appeal to fans of photographers such as Bill Brandt, Paul Strand and Diane Arbus.
The subjects in Sonck’s photographs vary in age, size, gender and style. They face the
camera alone, in pairs or in groups of three. They are often presented in a manner that
references classical composition, yet they always remain approachable, even familiar.
While the images from Sonck’s 40 years of portraits hint at the influences of August
Sander and Diane Arbus, they are subtle and multi-layered belying first appearances. His
focus on individuals as well as relationships among them is done with tenderness, humor,
poetry and respect. Sonck presents the uniqueness of each sitter and in doing so puts
into question the meaning of an “archetype”.
Sonck’s portraits have been exhibited at the Museum of Photography, Antwerp; the
Museum of Photography, Charleroi; the National Portrait Gallery, London; the National
Media Museum, Bradford; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris among other institutions. The
Gallery’s presentation of Sonck’s photographs coincides with a large solo exhibition
(curated by our partner gallery, Fifty One Fine Art) in a former citadel dating from 1811,
situated in the coastal town of Ostende, Belgium. A catalog, Jacques Sonck: Encounters,
has been published to accompany the exhibition and will be available at the gallery.
This is Sonck’s first exhibition outside of Europe, so if his work intrigues you, be sure to give it a look. The exhibition will conclude on August 15th.
For More Information: L. Stephenson Gallery
Preview: “Light and Shadow” Photographic Works by Robyn Graham and Alisandra Wederich , Red Filter Gallery, Lambertville, NJIn Black and White Photography on July 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm
Two artists address contrasting views :
Robyn Graham states: “Photography is my means of using light to create art. I am especially drawn to the combination of flowers and light. Two miracles combined to create something magnificent. My flower images are always paired with a poem, written by me, or a quote, which symbolize the meaning or representation of the flower and/or the color of the flower.”
Alisandra Wederich says: “Juxtaposed between traditional processes and alternative materials, my work explores the human condition with ornate frames, animal skulls, and figurative photographs. The soft black and white images developed on rag paper imbue a painterly quality, adding a smoky mystique to the bleached, jagged bones. The skull transfers compare the relationships between human beings, as well as the relationships humans have with animals, with the titles alluding to similarities drawn between the two concepts.”
Exhibition runs July 8 – September 7
For more information: Red Filter Gallery