Lines and curves
A juried international photography exhibition
March 17 – April 12, 2016
Lines and curves are some of the most important visual building blocks of both figurative and abstract images. We can observe lines and curves of all possible varieties in photographs; they are everywhere. Putting them in the centre of attention might even sound trivial and not particularly interesting at first. This, however, is a call for not just any lines and curves. We would like to see lines and curves that take a daring and pronounced initiative in the photograph; lines and curves that capture our attention, lead our eyes, and determine the way we appreciate the photograph. Lines and curves might have significant compositional role but they may also focus our attention on some parts of the image, hence influencing our interpretation. There are countless ways lines and curves might become the central creative aspect in a photograph.
Susan F. Chamberland: Outliers
Nancy Edelstein: Golden Wave, from the series "Friday Night Dinners"
Elena Santucci: Alone
Mediha Didem Türemen: Where is Venice?
Emily Alexander (Bochum, Germany), Ekaterina Bykhovskaya (Strasbourg, France), António Castilho (Lisboa, Portugal), Susan F. Chamberland (Ivoryton, CT, USA), Hanzi Deschermeier (Chicago, IL, USA), Judit Dombóvári (Budapest, Hungary), Nancy Edelstein (Seattle, WA, USA), Angelika Ejtel (Dallas, TX, USA), Sam Eugène (London, UK), Caroline Fraser (London, UK), Felipe Gavioli (São Paulo, Brazil), Marcus Gebin (Paris, France), Javier Guri (Madrid, Spain), Camden Hardy (Tucson, AZ, USA), Barbara Harsch (Brussels, Belgium), László György Király (Kecskemét, Hungary), Blair Kitchener (Auckland, New Zealand), Kiyoshi Nasu (Kawasaki, Japan), Csaba Kovács (Budapest, Hungary), Cristina Llarena (Dublin, Ireland), Joanna Madloch (Montclair, NJ, USA), Dan McCormack (Accord, NY, USA), Trevor Messersmith (Marlboro, NY, USA), Krisztina Mike (Sundsvall, Sweden), Raheleh Mohammad (Cleveland, OH, USA), Michael Nemlich (Har-Adar, Israel), Nancy Oliveri (New York, NY, USA), Gabor Pocza (Sopron, Hungary), David "Squid" Quinn (New York, NY, USA), Elena Santucci (Perugia, Italy), Joshua Sariñana (Cambridge, MA , USA), Arber Sefa (Brussels, Belgium), Laszlo Steven Stanley (Wellesley, MA, USA), Michael Stepansky (Holliston, MA, USA), Joshua Tann (Long Beach, CA, USA), Mediha Didem Türemen (Istanbul, Turkey)
Please click on the names to see contact information (website or e-mail) where available.
Lines and curves
Lines and curves are so common geometric elements in photographs that focusing on them may be considered trivial and of no particular interest. This exhibition, however, concentrates on lines and curves that define the compositional structure and the photographic meaning of images.
The juror’s choice is Susan F. Chamberland’s Outliers. This image makes us realise once again how little is needed to construct delicate and complex photographic meaning. The composition rests on the very economical use of just a few lines, while most of the area in Chamberland’s photograph is filled in with an almost monolithic grey sky. There is not much going on, and the little that is happening is limited to the lower left side of the photo where the grey monotony of the image is disrupted by the long arms of the cranes. Yet the photograph does not seem blank. The lines of the cranes’ arms immediately capture our attention, while the much larger grey area of the sky becomes their background and structural counterpoint at the same time. Certainly, we are not used to photographs displaying just some lines in one corner, and this unusual composition creates an exciting tension between our received expectations and what the image provides for us. And then there is yet another small nuance worth exploring: in the bottom right corner we can notice the bare branches of the tip of a tree. This subtle visual pun creates a sense of balance and, simultaneously, adds another layer of tension to the composition of the photograph by juxtaposing the more pronounced and heavy geometry of the cranes and the feeble thinness of a few organically curving branches.
The first honourable mention in the exhibition is Golden Wave from the series of “Friday Night Dinners” by Nancy Edelstein. The close-up shot of the heirloom dinner plate is pushed to the point of abstraction; yet the focus on the gold-trimmed scalloped edge of the porcelain piece lends warmth and intimacy to the picture, evoking memories of past family dinners. Elena Santucci’s Alone captures space as if we were looking down from a carousel spinning at high speed. There is no whirling, though; it is the perspective and the patterned texture of the pavement and the metal grille that create the impression of movement, encircling the lone figure with an aura of hopelessness. The third honourable mention, Where is Venice? by Mediha Didem Türemen offers a fresh take on the photogenic but oft-clichéd city. The haze enhances the rhythm of lines and curves, while the whole surreal scenery is overseen by the lone figure of a stoic bird. The misty mood and the dreamy colours envelope not only the landscape but also the viewer, holding us captive for an indefinite time.
The dominant curve in António Castilho’s Untitled No. 4 is cleverly complicated by the straight lines of the window bars. The distant and obscure houses over the sharp rail tracks in Déibáb by Felipe Gavioli seem to be forever out of our reach. Javier Guri’s Moments of Silence transforms the lines and curves of our built environment into a landscape. Untitled by Barbara Harsch is a unified composition of diverse visual elements. The lines and curves are brought to life and enhanced by the subtle tones of the image in Blair Kitchener’s Car Garage. In Joanna Madloch’s In Frame the geometrical background of the machinery and the steel grid is in a concordant interaction with the figures of the two children. Passing Time by Krisztina Mike is an elegant arrangement of just a few objects, lights and shadows. Nancy Oliveri’s Coney Island Nude is a classical composition, beautifully blending the rhythm of the linear stripes of light with the curves of the nude. Joshua Sariñana’s Shadows of Artificial Intelligence incorporates noir, architectural, and abstract photography in a most creative and effective manner. Fluid by Joshua Tann invites us to explore a mystical space of curves and shades.
It is always a rewarding experience to notice and appreciate the beauty of a body of work that focuses on a formalist theme. The lines and curves of this exhibition provide a testament to the power and complexity of structures and geometric elements in photography.