BWGallerist

On Site: JoAnn Verburg – Pace/MacGill, NYC

In Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on March 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

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JoAnn Verburg “Interruptions”

While we normally cover Black and White exhibitions, this particular artist, JoAnn Verburg, employs principles of photography that are universal. We have followed JoAnn for many years and it is impressive to see continued growth over that entire time period.

In a lecture at ICP last night she covered her evolving approach to photography. Her concerns are with the role of the viewer and the picture … a static/dynamic relationship that flows both ways. She also is trying to capture a time element that manifests itself in the absorption of the viewer … she refers to it as  “Vermeer time”, or alternatively through diptych or triptych slices of pictorial “moments”. There is also a spatial element of linkages off the image, either beyond the edges of the photo or through references to third party facts held within the photo itself. A lot going on here … indeed.

Her most striking stylistic tool is selective focus, achieved by manipulating the focal plane with tilt and swing of her large 5X7 camera bellows (see: Scheimpflug rule). This allows a tack sharp highlighting of particular portions of the image.

The new exhibit is the latest in a long line of steps in JoAnn’s artistic exploration of these concepts:

The images depict angled building facades, receding courtyards and transitory corridors that
emphasize the subjectivity of perception and observation through calculated shifts in her camera’s focus and perspective. In contrast, Verburg’s tightly cropped, close-ups of Spoleto’s residents are timeless yet grounded compositions. These portraits remain elusive and at the margins of a specific place and time, however, with no immediate reference to their surroundings at-large. When viewed together, the cityscapes become backdrops into which the photographed individuals could wander at any time.

For more on this important exhibit (opening tonight through May 1): JoAnn Verburg

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