Working with reflection and refraction, movement and shadow, precision and intuition, these four artists tease out the seemingly magical phenomenon of the manipulation of light and form in space. These works suggest artists at once playful and pragmatic, both scientists and mystics. Their shared palette evokes the wonder of the visible spectrum and the power of directionality — soaring, folding, bending, and shifting our reception of messages through light.
Jessica Eaton's practice reflects a keen focus on exploring the unique optical potential of photographic film using large format cameras, often layering multiple exposures on a single sheet of film. Formal and calculated, and also quite striking, her photographs recall vintage scientific photography as well as the analog "magic" inherent in watching an exposed image emerge in a chemical bath under amber lighting. Eaton eschews digital manipulation for in-camera computation, using both classic and obscure techniques to create concrete compositions of elusive phenomenon. Shadow 9 is the product of an experiment where a black circular mask cast a technicolor shadow on textured paper — an effect caused by the spectrum of gels covering the entire studio window.
JJ Garfinkel's painting Untitled provides a window into a murky, indeterminate space, the shards of glass jutting from the pane's frame the only recognizable forms in the mix. This place beyond the frame is out of time, moving forward and backward and overlapping, playing host to a series of synchronous, barely delineated currents of light, color, and motion. It's a place that is neither here nor there, emanating a warm enigmatic glow and hum. This slippery sci-fi interior/exterior is where much of Garfinkel's work resides, each painting another instance of some incarnation of life captured in its peculiar atmosphere.
In White Balance by Joshua Citarella, white on white objects are given a polychromatic treatment by overlapping red, green, and blue light sources. It's no mistake that these colors intersect to create a white balanced image at center and that the subject of the chair itself is portrayed suspended in balance; these conceptual and often elegant visual puns appear in several images in Citarella's Apples and Oranges body of work, which examines representation through photographic conventions and tools, such as curves, layers, resolution, and histograms. Described by the artist as "a physical enactment of digital image production," the 1:1 scale printed White Balance is not digitally adjusted in accordance with its namesake; as a result, our attention is drawn to the ubiquity of digital manipulation and its curious relationship with the real.
The acrylic planes, forms, and shards in Bahar Yurukoglu's work are colorful artificial stand-ins for elements in the natural landscape. This is most evident in her photographic series Neoscapes, still life compositions of plexi sheets in complex and engaging interplay. Central to this work is the use of light, casting tinted shadows and reflecting beams that etch bands, peaks, and valleys across the plastic terrain. Nature Morte (Redux) adapts this practice to a three dimensional installation. Here Yurukoglu inserts acrylic sheets into the gallery wall and then projects images of her constructions onto the sheets, redoubling her efforts to create an artificial environment by utilizing a self-referential light source pattern.
Erica Magrey is a video, mixed media, and performance artist who has exhibited and performed in galleries, music venues, alternative spaces, and on public access television, in New York, across the US, and internationally. Highlights include screenings and performances at The Kitchen, Socrates Sculpture Park, Kaskadenkondensator Basel, BAM, and Dixon Place, and events for The Sculpture Center, NADA, ESP TV and Deitch Projects. Magrey was the 2011 NY Artist in Residency with iaab/International Exchange and Studio Program Basel, Switzerland and a 2012 NYFA Fellow in Interdisciplinary Work. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.