BWGallerist

Preview: Water Memory, Adam Katseff, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco, CA

In Gallery on September 15, 2017 at 11:00 am

River XI, 2014, Adam Katseff

With incredibly beautiful, simple, and eerie landscapes, there are few who capture the essence better than Adam Katseff. Robert Koch Gallery has the photographers skill on full scale in their latest solo exhibition.

Adam Katseff’s large-scale reductive landscapes, while being minimalist in approach, on closer inspection present the viewer with rich and exceptional detail. Drawn to the Western landscape, Katseff began photographing the landscape at night using a large format 8 x 10 camera. His series Dark Landscapes (2012 – present) and Rivers and Falls (2014 – present) feature iconic locations, which also captivated and inspired influential artists such as Ansel Adams, Carleton Watkins, Albert Bierstadt, Timothy O’Sullivan, and William Henry Jackson. This is no coincidence, as Katseff conceptually set off to recapture these specific locations with the aim of reinterpreting the landscape. Of the chiaroscurist nature of the work Katseff remarks, “The subjects of my recent work are at the same time familiar and elusive. The outline of the image is easy to see, and as with memory our imagination must supply the rest. This is the goal of my current series, to present the viewer with a partial landscape and invite them to compose the rest themselves. In this way the images become at once universal and deeply personal; an exploration of the line between physical space and our psychological relationship to it. Each viewer must invest their own experience, their own subconscious into the work to make it whole, and each comes away with an impression based partly in reality, and partly of their own creation.”

 

Now open, photography and landscape fans will have a wonderful reason to visit San Francisco until October 28th.

For More Information: Koch Gallery

Preview: The Lines and The Andean Desert Survey, Edward Ranney, Deborah Bell Photographs, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Gallery on September 13, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Nazca Pampa, 1985, by Edward Ranney

Now open at Deborah Bell Photographs, experience the desolate beauty captured by Edward Ranney in Peru.

The Lines and The Andean Desert Survey will feature 17 photographs taken in Peru, where Ranney began photographing over 50 years ago. Included will be selections from his recently published book, “The Lines,” which depict markings in the Peruvian desert made by the ancient Nazcas, a relatively small culture that flourished on Peru’s southern coast from around the beginning of the Christian era until 600 AD. The purpose and meanings of these ancient geoglyphs, made by clearing the surface of the desert floor, or by creating paths of stones, remain mysterious and open to different interpretations by scholars. As Ranney explains in a preface to The Lines (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014):

“Just south of Peru’s Ingenio River Valley there is a low hill alongside the Pan-American highway. Here one can overlook the vast, confounding space of the Nazca Pampa and make out some of the lines, or geoglyphs, etched on it by the Nazca culture some fifteen hundred years ago. The lines on the pampa, particularly the figural geoglyphs, have been documented in detail over the last sixty years by aerial photographs, which have given us a broader understanding of their unique qualities. Yet in spite of the information provided by aerial views, it seems to me there is still much to be gained by seeing and experiencing the lines on ground level, as their creators did. … In addition to their perceptual qualities, the lines can be seen as a form of mapping, marking reference points and connections within the landscape, thereby transforming a harsh natural environment into an understandable, even intimate cultural space. … Important ceremonies undoubtedly took place along and within these lines. … It was also thought that the lines, trapezoids, and swept gathering places were sites of ceremonial processions and pilgrimages, and were renewed and reconfigured over many generations. It is unlikely we will ever know definitively what the geoglyphs meant to their creators. But what is clear is that they mark places – and times – of significance. This minimal landscape continues to reveal to us a fragile record of its human occupation. It is a record of elusive meaning, a unique evocation of the inalterable connection between humans and nature.”

The exhibit is now open and will be available for viewing between 11am-6pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Its conclusion will come November 4th.

For More Information: Deborah Bell Photographs

Notoable: The Ansel Adams Gallery Announces New Photo Rating and Condition System

In Black and White Photography, Photo Print Collector on September 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

When it comes to classic landscape photography, the list of recommended photographers almost always begins with Ansel Adams. As a member of Group f/64, Adams’ photos of the Pacific Northwest set the standard for striking and ethereal black & white imagery. Consequently, Adams’ photos have made themselves a part of several photography collections throughout the world. Now, the Ansel Adams Gallery has announced its own rating system for grading photographs by the deceased master.

Condition is always difficult to assess and somewhat subjective. Our rating system is an effort to make a meaningful distinction between the found condition of photographs that are, in 2017, between 35 and 85 years old. There are no standards in the industry or bright lines between ratings. Each rating can contain a range of conditions and items, and those ranges get progressively wider as conditions deteriorate. We attempt to be detailed, clear, and consistent in our assessment of the condition of photographs, but cannot guarantee that sharper eyes will not find things we miss. Our condition reports note EVERYTHING we see under a VERY rigorous examination by TRAINED experts, and we are known among our peers to be excessively detailed. These reports, on the face of it, can be disconcerting, even when the condition is rated as “Excellent”. Our rating depends on how visible damage is. Therefore it is possible that a number of items that are barely visible in glaring light can look more severe on a written condition report than would a single issue visible 3 feet away, whereas in person, the viewer might not even note the multiple items. Also, some types of surface damage could only or are most likely to have happened, intentionally or otherwise, in the artist’s studio. A small wrinkle in the emulsion layer, or etching a dark spot in a light sky are two examples. When this occurs we note it, but if it was acceptable to Ansel to release, we do not degrade the condition rating based on that. Our stance is that if it was good enough for him, who are we to negatively judge the condition.

Many issues noted here can be effectively treated with proper and qualified conservation. The cost of such treatments are generally not insignificant, and can take a considerable amount of time due to multiple passes or subsequent steps. Conservation work or evidence thereof is not a negative factor in assessing the condition or value of a print. We evaluate the current condition, not what it may have been or what it may become.

If you’re a serious collector of Adams photography, the gallery’s system is something that will seriously considered down the road. It will help guide through the print condition ratings and the quality of the layers, and also serve to educate on commonly used condition terms.

The ratings system can be found here: Ansel Adams Gallery