The Boca Raton Museum of Art’s newly created Contemporary Photography Forum is established to present the work of emerging to mid-career artists working in the medium of photography. The inaugural exhibition is on view November 7, 2017 through April 8, 2018 and includes the work of Daniel Gordon, Paul Kneale , and Florian Maier-Aichen. This exhibition considers photography’s influential role in contemporary art and also aims to build upon the significant collection of 1,600 historical photographs in the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s collection.
“The medium of photography has shifted with the advent of new technologies,” says Assistant Curator Lanya Snyder, who organized Contemporary Photography Forum. “While it is the foundation for the work in this exhibition, these artists use the process merely as a starting point.” Examining the evolution of image culture that has taken place over the last 10 years, these works ask how digital innovations (including the introduction of the smartphone and the selfie) and the inflated circulation of photography have impacted the conversation surrounding photography within a fine-art context.
The Museum’s executive director, Irvin Lippman, notes that any dialogue examining the present must also take heed of the past, writing that “the Pictorialists...over a century ago sought to unhinge photography from mechanical verisimilitude and into a more “painterly” expression." The aesthetic transition currently taking place in fine art photography can be traced back more than 100 years, but the past decade (if not half-decade) has accelerated the change at an rapid rate with works by artists like Gordon, Kneale, and Maier-Aichen.
Representational photography remained dominant until the past few decades, when the birth of digital photography and the tools that accompany it — such as Photoshop, scanners and Inkjet printers — engendered a new generation of artists. Working between traditional photographic methods and altered digital techniques, collectively the exhibition explores the visual territory between photography and painting. Reflecting ongoing dialogues surrounding the nature and progression of contemporary photography, this forum acts as a conversation between the participating artists. At its core, the exhibition serves to both substantiate and deepen the notion of the transcendent form and vital impact of photography today.