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Lothar Osterburg

Piranesi

November 13 – December 23, 2010

My work is driven by images which are burned into my memory and which persistently resurface.

I recreate these images by building small-scale scenes quickly and intuitively from readily available, found materials. Continuously undoing and re-doing, I allow my imagination to fill gaps in my knowledge or to completely transform the image. I then photograph the scenes, finally printing them as photogravures. Cleared of superfluous detail by time, and altered during their recreation, the remembered images take on a timeless, archetypal quality.

In the “Piranesi” project, I celebrate both the artistic process and my own lineage as printmaker. From a singular starting point – the memory of Giovanni Batista Piranesi’s Carceri print series of imaginary prisions – I developed my own imaginary space, which I document and assemble into a stop motion animation film accompanied with music by Elizabeth Brown. From the photographs of a model, I produce photogravure plates, which, inspired by Piranesi, I then rework into a second version. Like “Piranesi”, who was influenced by the Roman ruins in the creation of his imaginary prisons, I bring my own experiences and memories into my created world through a process which is similar to the constant transformations that cities like New York or Rome have undergone. Building everything with found materials and reusing my own sculptures, plates, video, and prints, Piranesi is the product of a continuous and multi-layered rebuilding of an imaginary world formed by glimpses of the past.

– Lothar Osterburg, 2010

Lothar Osterburg is a sculptor, photographer, animator, and a master printer in etching and photogravure. Since 1993, he has been running his own studio in New York City, where he has collaborated with Adam Fuss, Lee Friedlander, Laurie Simmons, and many more. A three-time MacDowell Colony Fellow, Osterburg was a resident at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Liguria Studies Center, and Anderson Ranch. His work has been shown at venues such as the Fitchburg Museum of Art (Fitchburg, MA), the 2nd Print Biennial at ICPNA (Lima, Peru), Moeller Fine Art and Lesley Heller Gallery (both in NYC). His work is in the collections of the New York Public Library, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Fine Arts Museum of Houston, among others. Awards include a 2010 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a 2010 Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and two NYFA grants. He has taught at Bard College since 1999 and at Cooper Union since 2002.

lotharosterburgphotogravure.com

About the Process

Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking process or photo-mechanical process known for producing rich blacks and infinite grays.

To produce a photogravure, a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph.

The earliest forms of photogravure were developed in the 1830s by the original pioneers of photography itself, Henry Fox Talbot in England and NicÈphore NiÈpce in France. They were seeking a means to make prints that would not fade, by creating photographic images on plates that could then be etched. The etched plates could then be printed using a traditional printing press. These early images were among the first photographs, pre-dating daguerreotypes and the later wet-collodion photographic processes. Fox Talbot worked on extending the process in the 1850s and patented it in 1852 (‘photographic engraving’) and 1858 (‘photoglyphic engraving’).

 

Questions Without Answers

Questions Without Answers: Photographs by the Photo Agency VII

curated by Amy Schlegel

October 8 – 31, 2010

Questions Without Answers presents photographs from the renowned VII Photo Agency depicting defining events of the post-Cold War period and their aftermaths, from the Fall of the Berlin Wall and September 11, 2001, to Iraq and Afghanistan, The Balkans and Congo, Chechnya and Gaza, among others.

The unique contributions of the independent photojournalists affiliated with VII are highlighted in more than 125 photographs, newly printed for the occasion, many displayed for the first time. These photojournalists collectively embody the tradition of concerned photography as their mission is to “document conflict — environmental, social and political, both violent and nonviolent — to produce an unflinching record of the injustices created and experienced by people caught up in the events they describe.” As Stephen Mayes, CEO of VII, comments, “[VII’s] work has never been about simplistic representation, but rather about supporting debate and contributing to change.”

The end of the Cold War in 1989 began a new era in world history as globalization, modernization, regional and civil conflicts, complex terrorism, and environmental issues surged to the fore. People, states, and regions struggled to grapple with these ongoing challenges. At the same time, the media was enmeshed in a shift from traditional reportage to the era of multimedia, 24-hour coverage that blurs the distinctions between professional and citizen reporters. This exhibition offers a prism of both cataclysmic events and persistent conundrums of the last several decades.

In 2004, on the occasion of the founding of its program for photojournalism, documentary studies, and human rights called Exposure, the IGL established a partnership with VII Photo Agency. James Nachtwey, a VII co-founder, commented then that “Exposure will help us all to understand photography as a valuable tool that can help us learn how to make sense of the violence, the destruction, the chaos of this world. Exposure will help to create an incredibly important historical legacy, providing meaning in our lives. Most importantly, it can help to create a public awareness integral to the process of change.” Since then, VII photographers have mentored Tufts students in workshops in Argentina, Bali, Cambodia, Kashmir, and Kosovo.

This exhibition has been co-organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, Tufts’ Institute for Global Leadership and VII Photo Agency, with images selected by the directors of the three organizations, with assistance from a Tufts Exposure leader, Samuel James. The exhibition was curated by Amy Schlegel, director of the Tufts University Art Gallery.

VII gratefully acknowledges Canon USA whose support made many of these photographs and the prints in the exhibition possible.

Installation View of "partlycloudymostlysunny" June 12 - September 12, 2010

Andrew Neumann

PARTLYCLOUDYMOSTLYSUNNY

June 12 – September 12, 2010

— Introductory statement by Francisco J. Ricardo, Ph.D.

If we were pressed to summarize the major practices of 20th century visual art, they could arguably fall into three principal ones: representation – depiction of experience as sensed in the world; formalism – experiments based on geometric or color regularity, but also including conceptual art of the 1960s and 70s; and process – art that makes explicit the manner of its construction, as exemplified by Abstract Expressionism, action painting, and many post-World War II directions in modern sculpture. Despite the tendency of some artists to blend some of these dimensions, each tradition from Cubism to postmodern hyperrealism has remained remarkably loyal to one or another of these directions, and rarely more than one.

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The historical regularity of this pattern is what enables us to understand why the work of Andrew Neumann produces an insistent sense of uncanny refusal to fall into one of these patterns, for it comprises and equal synthesis of all three major modalities of art while maintaining them all in continual tension. There are, for example, undeniably evident forms of representation in the photographic and filmic realism contained in these works. Likewise, the rectilinear structure in the composition of elements of each work confirms a marked attention to formal considerations. No less obviously, Neumann’s Industrial Wall Panels make visible the perspective of the observer by integrating it within the electronic and kinetic mechanisms of the actual construction – all of which signals an emphasis on process where the work is reconfigured not as a higher kind of object but rather as a new kind of subject through the shift in emphasis from the finished work to a demonstration and enactment of the primordial processes of the observer in the filmic sculptures that perform their own gaze. But in all works, we can sense engagements with new temporalities and points of observation subtly embedded in a treatment of the image that is simultaneously filmic and sculptural.
– Francisco J. Ricardo, Ph.D.,
Rhode Island School of Design

This work reflects issues concerning the uses of technology, language, and transmission of power in both its various corporeal and elusive modes. These works, which I call Industrial Wall Panels, re-contextualize the technologically derived icons and place them in a new environment that allows one to question their original use and see the possibilities of organizing these icons/objects into a new language with a completely re-defined hierarchy.

I am interested in technology and its use as a representational model. With this work I am attempting to develop a specific iconography that reflects upon the recent evolution of technology while at the same time pulling it out of context and questioning its main function as a reflection of the authoritative and corporate powers that it is most clearly aligned and supported by.

By deconstructing these technologies, and reorganizing them into new formal “Panels”, I am questioning the value of the objects, disregarding any protocol (which is at the heart of any system) and exploring the relationship between technology and the world it is meant to serve.

True, a certain mechanical aesthetic is prominent, employing, for example, video capture and kinetic movement of sculptural elements, but the principal engagement happens in a kind of space between a captured moment and the current moment of motion, or between an observable aspect of the sculptural object and the same component viewed through the works video-retinal act of self-observation. This kind of engagement defines a space within which the technology of the video or kinetic sculpture is experienced less as an artifact of the technology than as a highly formal bridge into perpetual questions of depth, objecthood, and presence.

The framework, or panel has always been constructed of plywood. Originally, these panels were painted “industrial gray”, so the base material was already being transformed/acted upon, and any “organic qualities” were rejected or dismissed. For the past few years, in a desire to “strip away the veil” of the object, as it were, I started exposing in part the raw material itself, the plywood. This led to further contradictions between materials. Much of the most recent works have rid themselves of the painted veil completely, leaving the frameworks in a natural state, devoid of any technological connections, and those objects/icons placed on the frame hopefully have an even deeper ironic value.

Another main interest of mine, as a practitioner of avant-garde film methods and ideologies, has involved the observation, manipulation, and dissection of the “cinematic apparatus”; the film camera and projector. In electronic media, the connection is not as cleanly defined or direct; although the camera and monitor/projector are the basic mediators of the image, a great deal of electronic manipulation can occur with ease and immediacy. With the wall panels that incorporate cameras and monitors, the project was to allow the “apparatus” to be evident to the observer, and allow for the experience of optical apperception, perception, and misperception to be integral to the work itself. My project thus uses a deconstruction of technology as a transparently instrumental medium to highlight the rupture between machine (which serves the user in a dedicated mode) and user (whose subjective perspective is shaped by its use), embedding a sense of subjectivity into the mechanism itself.

The Video Projections draw upon another series of related issues. From a technological standpoint, these works are based on real-time manipulation and interaction. I designed a system where a computer program controls a small video switcher via the serial port, enabling interruptions in real-time between a variety of video sources. In essence, it works like an optical printer for video; the great advantage being that it operates in real time, and even lets one “improvise” and manipulate in real-time.

My work is about developing a new schema by presenting and integrating a variety of contradictory set of signs, visual references, and textual notions in an attempt at hybridization that will hopefully provoke in viewers a new relationship to mechanistic visualization.

– Andrew Neumann, 2010

Andrew Neumann is a Boston-based artist who works in a variety of media, including sculpture, film and video installation, and electronic/interactive music. In 2004, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2006, a LEF Grant. He has recently had one-person shows at bitforms Gallery (Seoul, Korea), the DeCordova Museum (Lincoln, MA), bitforms Gallery (NYC), and numerous shows for the Boston Cyberarts Festival. His videos have been shown on PBS, The Worldwide Video Festival, and Artist Space. He has had solo music/video performances at Isseu Project Room, Experimental Intermedia, and Roulette, all in NYC. Neumann has also been an artist-in-residence at Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester, NY), The MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, NH), YADDO (Saratoga Springs, NY), Art/OMI (Chatham, NY), and the Experimental Television Center (Owego, NY).

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PQ:100

March 13 – May 31, 2010

The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) is pleased to present “PQ:100”, an exhibition surveying the photography, films, videos, and photo-based installations that have been featured on the first 100 covers of CPW’s publication PQ (Photography Quarterly).

As PQ reaches this milestone issue and print media continues to struggle to redefine itself amidst the digital age, CPW invites audiences to experience the contrast between engaging art objects and art as re-presented, re-produced, and re-interpreted in print form. When producing a publication, choices have to be made. Images are cropped. Textures and sheens are democratized. Sense of scale and dimension is lost. And, as it was for the first 88 issues of PQ, whether the image was toned, color, or not, it may be reproduced in black-&-white.

The exhibition “PQ:100” provides a unique opportunity for the public to experience nearly all of the original works featured on the covers of PQ as well as the chance to grasp the shifts, trends, and ideas that have been explored throughout photography over the past 30 plus years. The exhibition’s installation design will emphasize that dialogue by having CPW’s publication displayed on running reading shelves throughout the gallery, along with the artworks used to illustrate its covers, which will be installed salon-style above the actual issues, giving visitors a unique chance to re-engage simultaneously with the broad spectrum of ideas that have been published in the issues and on the covers of the first 100 PQs.

An integral component of CPW’s kaleidoscopic mix of program offerings, PQ, originally published as Center Quarterly, was the brainchild of CPW’s founders, Michael Feinberg and Howard Greenberg in 1979. Initially conceived as a black-and-white foldout brochure and a way to broaden CPW’s efforts to champion photography as a fine art form beyond the borders of Woodstock, NY, the publication has since blossomed into a 60-page full color publication with an international subscribership including numerous public and private institutions. For over three decades it has brought forth innovative ideas and imagery through essays, interviews, portfolios, and served as source of discovery for new voices in contemporary photography. The artists represented on the publication’s covers additionally reflect not only photography’s icons but also the deep wealth of talented image makers that have made the Hudson Valley and its surroundings their home.

Over the course of its history, PQ has been under the stewardship of three primary editors. Kathleen Kenyon served the longest term from 1982 to 2003. During her tenure, PQ reached new heights of excellence by serving as a platform for expanded dialogues centered around CPW exhibitions, engaging not only photography but film, video, and photo-based installation art. Important issues of the time that were addressed included explorations of race, gender, sexual identity, cultural politics, and artists from under-recognized regions and communities. In addition PQ began to present artist portfolios and featured issues dedicated to the promotion of collecting of contemporary photography through collector interviews and by highlighting CPW’s annual benefit auction. PQ is currently under the editorship of CPW’s executive director, Ariel Shanberg, who has overseen the publication since 2003. Recent highlights under Shanberg’s editorship have included the publication’s growth from 32-pages to 60-pages and transitioning from black-and-white to full color. PQ recently received a design overhaul by the design firm, de.MO under the supervision of Giorgio Baravalle.

As an independent publication, the strength of PQ has always been the rich diversity of voices which have contributed to its pages. Guest editors, essayists, interviewers, and contributors to PQ have ensured that the dialogue on and through photography serves to forward the medium and the ideas explored through it forward in ways that mainstream photography publications, often beholden to advertisers and profit margins, cannot be. The impressive roster of contributors include the likes of Julia Ballerini, Nancy Barr, Malin Barth, Robert Blake, A.D. Coleman, Elizabeth Ferrer, Stephen Frailey, Lia Gangitano, Ellen Handy, W.M. Hunt, Ellen K. Levy, Carlo McCormick, Robert C. Morgan, Sandra Phillips, Fred Ritchin, Miriam Romais, David Levi Strauss, Leslie Tonkonow, David Travis, Marilyn Waligore, and Joseph Wolin, among many others.

Other ongoing features of the publication have included “Photography Now,” an annual juried competition which has identified some of the most exciting emerging voices in the field as selected by leading curators, editors, and gallerists such as Jen Bekman, Julian Cox, Dana Faconti, and Kathy Ryan. Each year CPW introduces its most recent artists-in-residence to PQ‘s readership through portfolio features. Regular book reviews identify noteworthy monographs and critical texts.

A complete on-line index of the PQ can be found by clicking here.

 

 

Landscape Forever

curated by Dion Ogust

Presented in collaboration with the Woodstock Land Conservancy.

January 9 – February 28, 2010

 

Human beings need nature.



We enter the woods, the mountains, the shadows, and streams, leaving behind the noise of our constructed worlds, the chatter of our minds. Here, something else rules. The terrain, the wildlife, the mosquitoes, snakes, and bears – here, we are the visitors. The natural world reveals the fact that we are part of something else. In all its profusion, nature shows us to ourselves.

Human beings need art.

Art is the expression of our uniquely human vision, our beauty and grace, our ugliness and discomfort, our confusion and our insight. We may shock one another, or we may profoundly encourage one another. Either way, we are communicating our deepest secrets. In all its profusion, art shows us to ourselves.

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In Woodstock, these two human needs are intertwined. Here, we are surrounded both by the mountains and by a history of respect for art and the creative imagination. Two of the vital organizations working to support and protect these precious resources are the Woodstock Land Conservancy and the Center for Photography at Woodstock.

A few years ago it struck me that these two groups could expand and enhance their efforts by bringing the resources of the CPW to help document, describe, and exhibit the rich environments WLC works to save. Ten photographers who live and work in our region were invited to spend time photographing various landscapes – open fields, rocky terrains, meandering streams, lush forests, and more – all sites which are now protected through the efforts of the Conservancy.

Over a period of four seasons in 2009, these artists have responded to the settings with their own individual inquiries and techniques. Some are cerebral in their approach, while others are purely visual. Each eye sees a different story, reveals different layers. Their work has developed over the past year, just as the terrain itself has changed throughout the seasons.

During an especially shaky and unsettling time in the world at large, we can see very clearly how much we need to work together. This project has helped CPW and WLC reach out to groups within the community including children from the Woodstock Elementary School.  For their part, the artists spoke of finding themselves anchored in the sanctuary of the natural world, looking closely, paying attention, and returning with a message locked in a little box we call a camera.

In looking at the landscape, we all have different points of view. Our varied interpretations are not a problem, they’re a gift, enhancing life for all of us.

– Dion Ogust, 2009

Manhattan-born visual artist  Dion Ogust moved to Woodstock in 1988, bringing with her a wealth of experience in animation, film, and photography. In the ensuing two decades, she has become a sought-after freelance photographer and photojournalist, establishing her own studio in the historic arts colony.

Critically acclaimed for her portraiture, Ogust specializes in creating images of writers, musicians and actors, as well as families. Her work has appeared on numerous book and CD covers and her video commissions have been featured on websites, on television and in a variety of public presentations and venues. Ogust’s award-winning photography has appeared in international and regional publications including The New York Times, Time Magazine, Acoustic Guitar, Hudson Valley Magazine, House, and the Woodstock Times. 

She has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Photography at Woodstock from 2001-2007 and she participates in the Onteora High School’s Student Mentor Program.

This project marks her first curatorial endeavor.

The Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC) is committed to the permanent protection and preservation of open lands, natural resources, scenic areas, and historic sites in Woodstock and the surrounding eastern Catskills.

We believe that it is the places we love most that bring us together as a community, and that everyone benefits from conservation of the forests, fields, wetlands, and streams that keep the air and water clean, support farming, logging, and tourism, and are home to diverse wildlife.

WLC works with landowners who want to protect and determine the future use of their land. By offering alternatives to selling land for development that both respect private pro perty rights and can provide substantial tax benefits and financial advantages, we support the needs of landowners and local communities while protecting natural resources.  WLC often collaborates with other conservation groups, businesses, and local and state agencies to achieve our goals.  

This exhibition was made possible in part by funds from the County of Ulster’s Ulster County Cultural Services & Promotion Fund administered by the Dutchess County Arts Council. 

Additional funds have been provided by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Manhattan-born visual artist Dion Ogust moved to Woodstock in 1988, bringing with her a wealth of experience in animation, film, and photography. In the ensuing two decades, she has become a sought-after freelance photographer and photojournalist, establishing her own studio in the historic arts colony.

Critically acclaimed for her portraiture, Ogust specializes in creating images of writers, musicians and actors, as well as families. Her work has appeared on numerous book and CD covers and her video commissions have been featured on websites, on television and in a variety of public presentations and venues. Ogust’s award-winning photography has appeared in international and regional publications including The New York Times, Time Magazine, Acoustic Guitar, Hudson Valley Magazine, House, and the Woodstock Times.

She has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Photography at Woodstock from 2001-2007 and she participates in the Onteora High School’s Student Mentor Program.

This project marks her first curatorial endeavor.

 

Landscape Forever, Dion Ogust, January 9 - February 28, 2010Richard Eldeman

Landscape Forever, Dion Ogust, January 9 - February 28, 2010     Gay Leonhardt

Landscape Forever, Dion Ogust, January 9 - February 28, 2010  Bill Miles

Landscape Forever, Dion Ogust, January 9 - February 28, 2010    Yva Momatiuk & John Eastcott

Landscape Forever, Dion Ogust, January 9 - February 28, 2010Fawn Potash

Landscape Forever, Dion Ogust, January 9 - February 28, 2010Peter Schoenberger

Landscape Forever, Dion Ogust, January 9 - February 28, 2010Carla Shapiro

Landscape Forever, Dion Ogust, January 9 - February 28, 2010Williams & Russ