December 27, 2010
Popel Coumou’s existential photographs of architectural collages show scenes in which man is both the onlooker and creator.
Popel Coumou looks for the romanticism in geometry and human absence. The way the outline of a dusty window is projected on a bleak floor shows the almost tangible loneliness in her photographs. Nevertheless the source of these works is a lot less evident than first suspected. These images are collages constructed out of two dimensional fragments of architecture and nature which are then lit and photographed. In this way her two dimensional collage photography leads to the illusion of a three dimensional space. This in turn enables her to create unreal spaces in which time evaporates into a desolate vacuum.
This doesn’t mean her works are always depressing. There exists a certain beauty in the gritty coldness and sharp distinction of forms visible in these works. A beauty that could be compared to the lone figures we see in the paintings by Caspar David Friedrich. Popel implicitly shows the presence of man in her works and by doing so invokes the classical search for identity in the arts. This aspect of her work is strengthened by her technique in which she prefers the small imperfections of analog photography in favor of the impersonal perfection of the digital image. By doing so her works are always balancing between a sence of space that is both silenced and human and the flattened plane of the collage.
On Saturday the 27th of November TORCH gallery will open with an exhibition of new work by the Dutch photographer Popel Coumou (1978). This opening will take place at the Lauriergracht 94 in Amsterdam between 5 and 7 pm. After this event the works will be on show until Saturday the first of January. Popel’s existential photographs of architectural collages show scenes in which man is both the onlooker and creator. Her work will simultaneously be shown at huis Marseile; museum for Photography in Amsterdam.
This show of new works will be the first solo-exhibtion for Popel Coumou at TORCH gallery. Also, this will be the first show by an artist that is selected by the gallery’s new director, Mo van der Have. Popel is the first addition to a large roster of artists represented by the gallery and the first new choice after the passing away of Adriaan van der Have, Mo’s father. Before showing at TORCH Popel Coumou’s work has been shown at museum Foam in Amsterdam and many venues accross Europe. Her photographs are part of many significant collections in the Netherlands.
December 7, 2010
Mike Brodie (born in 1985), best known by his pseudonym “”Polaroid Kidd”" is a self-trained American photographer from Pensacola, Florida.
In 2003 Brodie left home at 18 to travel the rails across America. A friend gave him a camera and he found himself spending three years photographing the friends and companions he encountered with the Polaroid SX-70. Polaroid discontinued SX-70 film, so now he shoots on 35mm on a Nikon F3.
His photographs have been featured in exhibits in Milwaukee, at Get This! Gallery in Atlanta and in Los Angeles at M+B Gallery. His work was also selected to appear in the 2006 edition of the Paris International Photo Fair at the Louvre. In November 2007 he collaborated with Swoon and Chris Stain to mount an installation at Gallery LJ Beaubourg in Paris. He also has had collaborative shows with artist Monica Canilao.
His photographs largely depict what he refers to as “travel culture”, train-hoppers, vagabonds, squatters and hobos.
Critic Vince Aletti of artsandantiques.net says of Brodie’s work: “Even if you’re not intrigued by Brodie’s ragtag bohemian cohort—a band of outsiders with an unerring sense of post-punk style—the intimate size and warm, slightly faded color of his prints are seductive. His portraits…..have a tender incisiveness that is rare at any age.”
December 7, 2010
Shelby Lee Adams (born 1950) is an American environmental portrait photographer and artist best known for his images of Appalachian family life.
Adams’ has photographed Appalachian families since the mid-1970s. He had first encountered the poor families of the Appalachian mountains as a child, traveling around the area with his uncle, who was a doctor. His work has been published in three monographs: Appalachian Portraits (1993), Appalachian Legacy (1998), and Appalachian Lives (2003).
His work is in the following permanent collections (not a complete list): Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; International Center of Photography, New York, New York; Musee De L’Elysee Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Time Life Collection, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York.
Adams was the subject of a documentary film by Jennifer Baichwal in 2002 – The True Meaning Of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’s Appalachia, which was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, and at the Sundance Festival in 2003.
December 7, 2010
Lewis Baltz (born September 12, 1945 in Newport Beach, California) is a visual artist and well known photographer who became an icon of the New Topographic movement of the late 1970s.
Baltz graduated from San Francisco Art Institute in 1969 and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Claremont Graduate School. He received several scholarships and awards including a scholarship from the National Endowment For the Arts (1973, 1977), the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1976), US-UK Bicentennial Exchange Fellowship (1980), and Charles Brett Memorial Award (1991). In 2002 Lewis Baltz became a Professor for Photography at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee. Baltz is now living in Paris and Venice.
His entire work is focused on the counter-aesthetic of photography, searching beauty in desolation and destruction. Baltz images describe the architecture of the human landscape, offices, factories, and parking lots. His pictures are the reflection of control, power, and influenced by and over human beings. His minimalistic photographs in the trilogy Ronde de Nuit, Docile Bodies, and Politics of Bacteria, picture the void of the other, in 1974 he captured the anonymity and the relationships between inhabitation, settlement, and anonymity in The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California (1974).
He moved to Europe in the late 1980s and started to use large colored prints. Several books and articles featured his creations including Geschichten von Verlangen und Macht, with Slavica Perkovic. Scalo, Zurich and New York, 1986. Other photographics series, including Sites of Technology (1989-92), depict the clinical, pristine interiors of hi-tech industries and government research centres, principally in France and Japan.