Monday, November 2, 2009

Liz Deschenes-Sutton Lane

On view at Sutton Lane Gallery is an exhibition of work by New York artist Liz Deschenes. The series, titled Right/Left, presents four large photograms, the results of leaving photo sensitive paper outdoors during the night. After the exposure she applies a layer of silver toner to create a slightly reflective surface that resembles an antique mirror or the results of some chemistry experiment, which in a way, these works suggest. At first glance, you have a hard time gathering what it is you are seeing. You almost get an urge to wipe the surface to see if it changes. The usual skepticism with abstraction kicks in and then quickly dissipates when you learn the techniques and practice of the artist.

Set in the tiny, gray and white space of Sutton Lane, the show looks very elegant, timeless in way. It is simple/minimal work, while also engaging. Deschenes has a way of manipulating the photographic process of development, or post-picture taking (here no camera was even used), and pushing the boundaries of what this medium can represent. Man Ray brought the use of the photogram to a sort of acceptable medium/mainstream but Deschenes is taking it to another level. This seems certainly to be a fitting abstract art of the 21st century. On view through November 28.

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