Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce Summer Cool Down, a group exhibition featuring photography by Bonnie Edelman, Josef Hoflehner, Scott Peterman, Jonathan Smith and Wayne Levin. The show will open with a public reception on Thursday, June 27th 5-7pm and will run through August 17th.
The artists in this exhibition use film to capture images of water in diverse environments, presenting our symbiotic relationship with it in various forms. British-born, New York-based photographer Jonathan Smith travels the world, from Iceland to southern Patagonia to record streams, glaciers and oceans through his lens. Some of his compositions cede perspective and scale to render an ephemeral world where pristine snow and water collide. He uses long exposures to take in nuanced shadows in the tundra landscape, with deep blue hues resulting from minerals in the volcanic riverbeds and lakes. For Smith, the impermanence of his subject matter is a constant reminder of our ever-shifting world and its habitats.
Stillness in a frozen landscape is also a subject matter in Scott Peterman’s works in the show, his reductive palette punctuated with evidence of human presence. Centered on stark whiteness with barely discernible horizon lines are single ice-fishing shacks, or bobhouses, their rigid shapes asserting themselves in contrasting colors. These series of photographs were shot in New Hampshire and Maine under overcast, shadow-less days in an even light where the color range is narrow. Absent of narrative, the architectural structures are flattened and devoid of detail, simplified into minimalist objects. While formal considerations, the photographs also serve as visual records inviting us to contemplate our role in extreme climates.
Taking formal abstraction to the next level, Bonnie Edelman uses a type of “action photography”, shooting with her lens in continual motion. A globe-trotter as well, Edelman takes pictures while on a plane, car, or moves the camera to blur her images. The results are color-field works with the barest, if any, suggestion of source imagery. The show will feature works from her recent trip to Iceland, reflecting a more subdued and introspective palette than she is typically known for.
Two other photographers in the show are more representational in their subject matter, depicting the inherent allure water holds over humans. Austrian-born, Josef Hoflehner exemplifies this with his “Jet Airliner” series, featuring dramatic scenes of bathers in a tiny public beach on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. Enormous low-flying jets hovering dangerously close to bikini and bathing suit-clad vacationers seem almost staged in their composition and take on a vintage-quality in their black and white tonalities.
Also casting color aside are the compositions of Hawaiian photographer Wayne Levin. He, too, keeps his work figurative in his portrayal of swimmers, surfers, divers and sea-life, yet these are taken below the water’s surface. Rather than documenting sub-aquatic nature and human activity, Levin’s pictures capture the mystery and awe of a world where light is refracted into silvery shadows, where a dense darkness and the vastness of the unknown is present. Some of his photographs are so nuanced they take on the appearance of charcoal drawings.