This summer the Sande Webster Gallery presents Divergence: Five Views on Photography. This exhibitionexplores diverse approches to the photographic medium. As the field continually evolves to incorporate digital technologies, artists are finding freedom from traditional processes and new creative opportunities for personaland aesthetic expression. This contemporary photography exhibition begins a dialog about the current and future state of the printed photographic image. Divergence showcases the work of Krantz, Love, Mitchell, Stein and Tarver.Gregg Krantz is a Philadelphia artist with a graphic sensibility expressed through a love of printmaking,photography and design.
Krantz’s recent photographic works are abstract narratives that document surfaces and patterns indicative of particular places. His close-up, detailed photographs capture the texture, color and quality of light in his West Philadelphia neighborhood as well as his travels abroad. Through subject matter and rhythmic phrasing in each series, Krantz heightens one’s perception of the invisible dimension of time. His photographs ofurban facades, geometric forms and painted surfaces are transformed into a personal vocabulary that are arrangedin series, like musical compositions, in varying qualities of tone and harmony.
Arlene Love is an accomplished figurative sculptor turned street photographer. She has been working on anongoing photographic project called Walking Distance over the past few years. She doesn’t search for exotic newplaces and people to photograph. Her camera goes with her as she goes about her life within walking distanceof her home. The people on the streets of Philadelphia are as interesting to her now as were those in Mexicowhere she lived for many years. Nothing is more interesting to Arlene Love than simply watching people – exceptphotographing them when they are blissfully unaware of her presence. Love has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, and is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Mitchell rejects the assumption that photography is about representation. Pure abstraction and the process ofimage making are the subject of his work. His photographs have more in common with the sensory experiencesassociated with color field paintings and ambient sound than they do with the tradition of photography. Images areshot with the purest of intuition and from a perspective largely influenced by aura occurrences associated withTemporal Lobe Epilepsy. Auras can produce heightened abstract emotions, affecting the visual field. Concepts and meanings in words that might invigorate the imagination, or perhaps for the intellect alone are explored in his titles, which enhance the imagery. While the experience with auras, is not always evident in the result, it is irrefutably connected in the process of creation.
Phil Stein creates dimensional photographic collages of the urban landscape. He finds inspiration in the random visual fragmentation that occasionally occurs in live streams and video downloads. The Streets series explores various themes of image reconstruction based on these common algorithmic accidents. Digital processes are used with a variety of fine papers to create this body of photo-based work. The resulting artwork is a combination of photograph, collage and sculpture. The world through Stein’s digital lens is made up of bits of visual information. He creates a new way of seeing the world around us, defining what it means to be an artist in the digital age.
Ron Tarver began his recent series of ethereal black and white flower portraits as a journey through his ownbackyard. Beginning the first day of the season, Tarver set out to document the spring flowers of the Northeast,beginning with crocuses then on to the next blooms, such as magnolia and tulips. Tarver captures the beauty ofnature in such intimate detail. There is a sensuality to these images that is revealed in the graceful curves of eachpetal. Tarver is a master at his craft and presents sumptuous images that remind us how incredible our naturalworld truly is. Tarver, a 2001 Pew Fellow, is included in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Oklahoma Museum of History and the National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.