Friday, May 8, 2009

Andrea Modica at The Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel Univ.

A year ago a I went to NYC to get out of dodge- but more specifically on my list of shows to see was work by Andrea Modica at Edwynn Houk Gallery. It was the only show I saw in NY since I became ill while I was in NY.   Along with other  shows that have stopped me in my tracks was this one.  Some of the works from the NY show and some different and I think new ones are now on display at The Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University. I did not have very much time and so I did not differentiate, mostly because of the time factor, the works I had seen in NY from the others.  They are all by the same hand, or eye, so to speak and are therefore unified. Even though her use of a view camera makes some technical elements  possible and even though the prints are platinum/palladium, it was the remarkable combination of a skewed formality combined with  intimate lyricism and a sensitive "seeing" of light that almost takes my breath away.  I should add that I believe the larger works are digital prints on (possibly) Hahnemuhle rag.  These larger prints should be shown to anyone who thinks that the digital printing process is somehow not equal to traditional platinum prints (or for that matter, Silver prints).  These larger prints are simply exquisite, as are all the rest. What is really amazing about these images is that the photographer reminds one that visual poetry, and thats what these are, can be found in the most mundane subject matter and circumstances.  Through sheer brilliance, Andrea Modica elevates what she photographs and turns it into art.  Curiously, however- and this is rare in some photography today,  there is never a hint of  falsehood or exaggeration.I think I read that she "stages" some aspects of some of these works: it does not matter. These photographs  are not full of gimmicks, and one has the sense about them that they could have been taken a hundred years ago or a hundred years in the future. This artist finds truth that is all around us and using a rare talent pulls us in and says: "Look what I have seen".  Then using consummate photographic technical skills, turns that into photographs that are on an elevated plane, both technically and  spiritually. These photographs walk the line between photography as art and photography in its purer form as a document of literalness. I think they have a decided leaning towards photography as art. These photographs prove once again that photography can be art.

Heres the link to the Drexel site for information.

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