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Currents in Photography
Five Person Group Exhibition of Photographic Mixed Media
at the Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York
Volume 19, Number 1
#34 Spring/Summer 2016
By Phil Tarley
Currents in Photography, May 26- June 21, at the Walter Wickiser Gallery, features the work of Sandra Gottlieb, Sol Hill, Kaethe Kauffman, Nolan Preece and Bert GF Shankman. These five artists use their technical mastery to segue into new, painterly zones of photographic mixed-media hybridization.
Kaethe Kauffman's is perhaps the most austere of the five photographers' works. Also a mixed media artist, Kauffman utilizes charcoal, nupastel, ink, pencil and collage in a minimalist pallet of light and dark grays to emphasize shape, texture and design through positive and negative space. Kauffman's images live at the nexus of the physical and the spiritual. They often meet in a mirrored reflection of each other. Point and counterpoint, these highly embellished photographic pigment prints reside in a nether world of conjoined pluses and minuses while figuratively using human shapes as a trope. Depicting people in meditative states is a codifying theme this artist employs to captivate the viewer so they can enter the work and vibrate in sympathy with the intellectual and emotional energies of the photograph.
Meditation Oblique, a mesmeric fantasy of gray figures moving through a multitude of gray planes, elicits an entrancing duality of mind and body. Kauffman's artworks ultimately become whimsical, redolent with sub-textual reverences.