Archives for posts with tag: abstract

Contemplating Water is a new gallery added to Sassamatt’s webpage. It features a series of photographs made on Chesterman Beach/Tofino, BC, focussing on water in its dynamic state.

Ever-moving water is ephemeral and transcendental. As it swirls, sputters, rises and falls, it returns to where it began. I look at water the way Alfred Steiglitz looks at clouds, contemplating how “to hold a moment, how to record something so completely, that all who see will relive an equivalent of what has been expressed.”

View Contemplating Water (here). 

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Artists by nature are not hard-wired to boost, promote, or sell their work. Buyers usually want to know more about the works that attract their attention and perhaps purchase. That more can be the backstory, the technique or inspiration, and it is often said that it is not the work that is sold but the story that is bought. For some artists, that conversation is difficult. In my own artist practice, all of this is the case. If I could bring that story to life in conversation, there would be no need for me to make a drawing, photograph, artist book or ceramic sculpture. I came to value (and now miss dearly) art school critiques because I learned how to speak more confidently about the backstory, techniques and inspiration in my artist practice. Having said that, this blog feels somewhat like shameless self-promotion, but it could also be a year end summary about where my work can be found, where this work can be purchased.

South Main Gallery (279 East 6th Avenue, Vancouver) now represents my work, particularly More Illuminations, featured in Vancouver’s Capture Photography Festival (2016).

Cityscapes Art Rentals (335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver) holds a small collection of my work for rent, rent-to-own, and purchase. A selection of my work will be in the 2017 Art Rental Show (opening 12 January through 04 February 2017).

The Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY)/ Sketchbook Project now sells high quality prints of pages from nine of my sketchbooks in their collection. Sketchbook Collection

Gifting is an art form in its own right, and in this season of gift giving, a gift of art is a double gift because it gifts the artist as well. More about my photography continues at http://www.sassamatt.com

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Frozen

Frozen

I’ve been gifted this review of my current series: Salton Sea Eco-Disaster — I cannot look away.

 

The Salton Sea Eco-Disaster – I cannot look away
One of the most provocative and insightful bodies of artwork in the Telling Stories: a visual art exhibition is a series of photographs by Phyllis Schwartz. Although a great deal of her work is more abstract in nature and rooted in the historical techniques of photographic image making, this series is a departure for her. The images are very monochromatic and stark as well as being rivetingly close to their subject matter.

What has caused this departure, especially when the work has been simmering since the winter of 2011? Having witnessed the ecological destruction on the shores of the Salton Sea, California’s largest body of water, the images were just too graphic and unworldly. How does a visual artist work with a set of images that seem implausible, yet at the same time so captivating? What are the implications of creating a series around these images that wander between a work of art, a statement of witnessing and a political commentary on our economically driven ecological disasters?

Vacant

Vacant

In the end one cannot really look away, as Phyllis Schwartz expresses in her subtitle, without becoming even more complicit than one already is creating these images. To look away is to do what is so often done, to pretend we are not part of the problem. We are collectively the authors of this series; even in Vancouver, the food grown in this area that flows 15,000 tons of phosphorus and nitrogen into this landlocked sea is the food we shop for on our grocery shelves. The cars we drive that are made in Mexico in the maquiladoras just across the border, emit a toxic stew mixed with sewage, and this flows down hill across the border into the Salton Sea. This artificial river is now the most toxic waterway in North America, we should not be looking away.

Schwartz’s images are simple yet draw in the viewer; they are micro-compositions of areas no larger than a dessert plate. Abstract in presentation and mostly black and white with hints of colour, one can not help but think of Edward Weston’s work and the intimacy he expressed with the objects he photographed. Yet the images are not as subtitle, and unlike Weston, the images are much less rooted in the post modern culture that favours irony while making allusions to knowledge. It also seems to lash out at the pseudo-modern world of around us where iPhones and social media often gives the impression that one is immersed when often one is overtaken or swallowed up.

Desiccated

Desiccated

As the viewer moves from one image to another, one begins to feel that something is amiss. What is the magnitude of the dead barnacles beach? Why are the fish mostly unconsumed by the other wild life in the area? Why have they not been cleaned up by local inhabitants? Having chosen to work at such an intimate range, the work hints at the extent of the problem without graphically showing the masses of dead fish that actually litter the shoreline. The artist here is reflecting our tendency to minimize and reduce things down so we do not see the scale of the problem. One cannot look away, but one does not want to see the scale, a scale might prove too challenging. The softness and almost abstract forms allow one to at momentarily escape before the mind lurches back to what is being presented. It moves the viewer to search out the subtext and the footnotes of this ecological metaphor of our current age.

Edward Peck (15 November 2015)

Edward Peck

On the Wall Series, photographed in Germany in 2015, will be part of the Telling Stories:a visual art exhibition opening on the 7th of November 2015. The exhibition will include photography, painting, sculpture, fibre art and other installations. It will feature the following nine artists: Alison Keenan, Phyllis Schwartz, Jim Friesen, Daphne Harwood, Sophi Liang, Colette Lisoway, Edward Peck, Debra Sloan and June Yun.

This is the BestB4 Collective’s latest exhibition, and it is graciously hosted by the Chinese Cultural Centre in their On-Tak Cheung Exhibition Gallery.

Opening: Saturday, November 7, 2015

Location: 555 Columbia Street

Regular Hours: 11:am – 5pm (Tue-Sat), Nov 7th – Dec 19

For Special Hours and Events see BestB4Collective’s Blog

For more information please go to the BestB4 Collective’s events page:
http://bestb4collective.blogspot.ca/p/events.html )

A Brief Word About the Series

My artist practice has always been about teaching myself to see. While walking around Berlin and Hamburg, I noticed that…

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Winter Salon 2014 opens Thursday, 27th November ( 7 – 10:30 pm) at PhotoHaus Gallery (14 West 7th Avenue) with an exciting collection of work that includes three Lumen Prints that were recently exhibited at die Bedürfnisanstalt in Hamburg Germany in September.

MisSummer Spanish Bank Impressions is my current analogue Lumen Print Series. On a parched summer day, I gathered materials from what had been deposited on the beach at high tide. In my work, I am always curious to discover what emerges from the footprints and shadows of my compositions on photosensitive materials. This summer’s pareidolic gift offered images of caribou, bears and canine forms, including one that received Honourable Mention from the Cascadia exhibition jury.

My current series of Digital Lumen Prints, Illuminations and Impressions,  are made from materials gathered from the Ocean Shores (Washington) foreshore. These images are made from handmade negatives using a Lumen Printing process and then digitized. These new plant forms have made new forms that trace the footprint and capture the shadows on photosensitive materials. Their luminescence invite the viewer to imagine motion and drama in what remains.

This Autumn’s exhibition at die Bedürfnisanstalt featured a selection of New York analogue Lumen prints that were exhibited in Tree — literal and figurative (On-Tak Gallery, Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre) and premiered MidSummer Spanish Banks Impressions. A selection of digital Lumen Prints were previously showcased at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum as well as new works made at Ocean Shores, Washington.

Caribou Portrait, Ocean Shores Impressions 1, Serious Caribou

Caribou Portrait, Ocean Shores Impressions 1, Serious Caribou

Winter Salon 2014 continues through December. Check hours and address at PhotoHaus Gallery’s website. http://photohausgallery.com/upcoming/

Shelter Island             Illuminations 
Edward Peck        Phyllis Schwartz 

Die Bedürfnisanstalt, Bleickenallee 26a, Hamburg 22763

Vernissage: Sa: 13.09.2014 12-17 Uhr
Öffnungszeiten
So., 14.09.2014, 14 – 18 Uhr
Mo., 15.09.2014, 16 – 20 Uhr
Sa., 20.09.2014, 14 – 18 Uhr
So., 21.09.2014, 14 – 18 Uhr
Lumen Print Workshop/Vorführung [auf Englisch]
Di., 23.09.2014, 14 – 18 Uhr
Neue Fotoarbeiten
Mi., 24.09.2014, 18 – 23 Uhr
Do., 25.09.2014, 15 – 19 Uhr
Finissage: Fr., 26.09.2014, 16 – 20 Uhr

Sassamatt presents the European premier of new work by Phyllis Schwartz and Edward Peck. These Canadian experimental visual artists work in photographic medium. Schwartz is one of the few contemporary artists making artwork using the lumen print process. These hybrid prints are made by a contact and printing process photosensitive surfaces that are digitized. Peck with multi-disciplinary background is using a multiple exposure photographic hybrid digital development process to create abstract works from concrete objects.

Sassamatt, a Canadian based artist collective, presents work by Edward Peck and Phyllis Schwartz for exhibition in Bedürfnisanstalt between 13 and 26 September. These two photo-based artists use the details located in their immediate environment as inspiration for innovative image making. Their exhibition, Sassamatt Presents, is the European premier of their latest work. The exhibition will be held in Die Bedürfnisanstalt, a unique gallery exhibition space in Hamburg’s Altona community. They will also be open for visitors to watch their work in progress. There will also be a workshop demonstration of the lumen process and both artist will be available to discuss their work and artist processes.

Edward Peck is an experimental digital photographer with multi-disciplinary background that includes painting, watercolour and printmaking. Much of his current source material is drawn from weathered and sea battered boats, some of which are in the process of returning to their elemental state, bringing the aging process of these boats to life by through an abstract exploration of form, colour and texture. His bold compositions are colour fields confidently sectored by elementary materials that are caught in the act of transformation. These transformations become abstract landscapes.

Phyllis Schwartz is an experimental photographer. Her x-ray like images penetrate the surface of her subject material and produce secondary images discovered only in the development stage of her printmaking. Plant enzymes and atmospheric conditions also interact with the surface to produce unexpected results on the surface of the paper or sheet film, leaving x-ray like marks of both their shapes and interiors. These illuminations of New York foliage and British Columbia  marine plant life hover on the cusp of abstract imagery and poetry.

Addition information on these two artists can be found on the Sassamatt Images website www.sassamatt.com .

It’s art residency season. Working in classrooms adds another layer to my artist practice: ideas spark when I share my ideas, techniques and suggestions. Curious minds ask provocative questions. Busy hands show me how my own practice transforms in a shared creative process. Ideas go places I never would have imagined. Exhibition and celebration brings new ideas to move forward.There’s always much to show for these joyful moments in the classroom, and I long for studio time so I can go forward with new ideas and new work. 

Recently, I presented a  lumen prints workshop  at the ArtStarts Gallery  in celebration of BC Arts and Culture Week in conjunction with Botanimalogy—Expressions of Nature, an exhibition of lumen prints made during my residency at Kitsilano Secondary School. This exhibition of both analogue and digital lumen prints is on show through August at the ArtStarts Gallery at 808 Richards Street, open Tuesday through Saturday.

Check out my new work at two openings on Friday, 25 January. One of my New York street shots is in Bikes Inside, a group exhibition at Hot Art Wet City. Five of my abstracts are showing in Abstract Expressionism, a group exhibition at Photohaus Gallery.

Ninth Avenue Cyclist II is part of a series inspired by Diane Evans and Kristina Kreber; it is a photograph created across the street from B and H Photos in New York (Ninth Avenue and 34th Street). Current work showing in Abstract Expressionism is from a new series of work that continues my lumen printing experimentation; these hybrid prints made from handmade negatives on 4 x 5 sheet film that are digitized.

More exhibition and opening night details below.

Abstract Expressionism
Photohaus Gallery, 14 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver
January 25 – 14 February
Opening: 25 January, 7 – 10 pm
Gallery catalogue available
http://photohausgallery.com
Bikes Inside
Hot Art Wet City Pop Up Gallery, 752 East Broadway, Vancouver
25 January – 13 February
Opening: 25 January, 7 – 11 pm
http://hotartwetcity.com/bikes-inside/

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Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/queenofmidnight  

Like Sassamatt Images on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SassamattImages

Learn more about Sassamatt Images http://about.me/phyllisSchwartz

And, if you are at the  Queen Elizabeth Theatre before 18 February 2013, check out In Camera: the working dancer, an exhibition of my photographs and Alison Keenan’s paintings, a body of work made in cooperation with Ballet BC. It is showing in the Mezzanine Gallery and my ceramic sculptures on the top floor. Let me know what you think.

Winter: a season to dream about what will take flight this spring. Keep warm.

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Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/queenofmidnight  

Like Sassamatt Images on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SassamattImages

Learn more about Sassamatt Images http://about.me/phyllisSchwartz

And, if you are at the  Queen Elizabeth Theatre before 18 February 2013, check out my photographs showing in the Mezzanine Gallery and my sculptures on the top floor. Let me know what you think.

 

Poetic Abstractions: Seven Visions, gently curated by Phyllis Schwartz and Edward Peck, is an exhibition presenting seven approaches to abstraction with the intent of provoking questions and sparking dialogue. This exibition is a dialogue between seven visual artists who use experimental digital photographic processes to create poetic images. My work in this exhibition shows new work — images from handmade negatives made during my winter residency at Chesterman Beach.  A gallery catalogue produced for this exhibition contains an introduction followed by images from each participating artist.

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Thursday, 06 September 2012 (7 – 9 pm); Atrium Gallery, Place des Arts, Port Coquitlam

Artist Workshop: Sunday, 30 September 2012 (1:30 – 3:30 pm), Place des Arts, Port Coquitlam

http://www.placedesarts.ca/gallery/current-exhibitions.aspx

Hard Cover     http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3454436

eBook             http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/303079-poetic-abstractions

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Just sold: Wish You Were Here, the title photograph in my series on show in CARFAC-BC’s fundraiser and exhibition at W2 Media Cafe. The exhibition continues on line. The following are still available for purchase.  Buy more art and support local artists!

 http://wishyouwereherefundraiser.weebly.com/index.html

 http://wishyouwereherefundraiser.weebly.com/photography.html

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