Perhaps it is the element of surprise that continues to draw me into galleries. I really never know what I am going to see or experience even though prior to my visit I may have scouted the show online or in a magazine. Mark Ruwedel’s show Westward the Course of Empire and Gail Albert Halaban Out My Window displayed beautiful images, reminding me of other master painters and photographers I admire.
If you have never been to Yossi Milo gallery, the doors are frosted, allowing absolutely no peeking. Once you walk in the exhibit it is either exactly how you expected the works of art to appear, or completely unpredictable. Since I knew Mark Ruwedel‘s photographs were taken with a large format camera, I was hopeful for large detailed black and white images. Instead there were about 4 groups of about 32 or so 8×10 gelatin silver prints. Each group had a theme involving different elements of 19th and 20th Century railways of the American and Canadian West. For example, one group of gelatin silver prints were displaying decrepit bridges, while another grouping showcased tunnels. The more and more I looked at the images, I thought about photography as documentation of time and history, which led me to think about Timothy O’Sullivan‘s image “The Harvest of Death.” This particular image documents dead soldiers on the battlefield of the civil war, obviously documenting a historical moment. There are many reasons I thought about Timothy O’Sullivan, but it is quite lengthy and I would really like everyone to come to their own conclusions about Mark Ruwedel’s photographs.
Gail Albert Halaban is a gorgeous exhibit. There are many ideas of who is observing who, space, light, emotions etc… Her work reminded me of Vermeer and Edward Hopper. I wonder if she looks at these painters for inspiration. The photographs are so amazing, that everyone should go check it out at The Robert Mann Gallery! You will be blown away and absolutely inspired, especially since they were all shot with film. You will wonder: how did she do that?
I promise in March I will scout all the really great shows and tell you all about it!!!!