From the series Boys and Girls
Archival Inkjet print
Courtesy of the artist and John Cleary Gallery
Jean Francois Rauzier
From the series Voyage Extroardinaires
Courtesy of the artist and Waterhouse & Dodd Fine Art Brokers
East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon
Courtesy of the artist and Rick Wester Fine
From the seriesModern Nature
Courtesy of the artist
Moon Studies and Star Scratches, No. 8,
Nov 16, 2004 - May 21, 2005,
Courtesy of the artist and Rick Wester Fine Art
Courtesy of the artist
From the series Seen but Not Heard
Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 291
From the series Small Dreams
Courtesy of the artist
HOUSTON, TX - The term “Magic Realism” began as a reference to the post-expressionist painters of the Weimer Republic. German art critic Franz Roh coined the term in the 1920s, describing the smooth photographic qualities of the painters Otto Dix, Max Ernst, and George Grosz. Closely related to Surrealists, who dealt with more psychological landscapes, the Magic Realists were noted for depicting a scene that would be considered to be super-normal, in a way that makes it seem completely normal.
The modified term “Magical Realism” took a very strong hold in the literary world in the 1950s and is best known as describing the writers of Latin America: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Leonora Carrington, and Gorge Luis Borges. The basic premise of Magic Realism was maintained, with the unusual twist to something that would otherwise be considered normal, and the histories in the novels by these authors bring vivid imagery to mind of the bizarre events they describe.
Today, super-sophisticated photo-imaging tools lend themselves to this style. This exhibit is a collection of photographs that bring to mind the mysterious and beautiful aesthetic found in Latin American Magical Realism. Though some of these images are digitally altered and some are natural photographs, there is a consistent attachment to this aesthetic that begins with reality and then takes its own course. This is by no means a comprehensive survey of the aesthetic of Magical Realism in Photography (that would require a far larger gallery space) but it is a small beginning.
Artists Included in this Show:
Jean Francois Rauzier
Guest Curator: Libbie J. Masterson, Interim Exhibitions Coordinator, HCP
About the Artists:
Meghan Boody is a multi-media artist, who lives and works in NYC. Her work is shown widely in galleries and museums internationally and is a permanent fixture of several collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art. She received a B.A. from Georgetown University in philosophy and French, and apprenticed with the photographer Hans Namuth for three years. Her work alternates between electronically composited photography and interactive sculpture. The exhibited images are from her current series, set circa 1850 and involves a young girl, a foundling hospital, a catastrophic fire, a band of urchins, and wanderings in the wilderness. Eventually there is a lighthouse.
Ruth Dusseault's numerous projects examine utopian expressions in the built environment, including the paradoxical situations that result when visionary ideas manifest in the every day world. In a national photographic study, Play War (Emory University Gallery 2010) she documents homemade recreational battlefields. In her Atlantic Steel Redevelopment Project (High Museum 2006), she tracked the six-year transformation of Atlanta's last large-scale industrial site from a century-old steel mill to a new urbanism city within the city, the largest urban redevelopment in the U.S. In her project Modern Nature, (NEA Award 2006), she completed an architectural survey of early 20th century tourist attractions that interpret the natural landscape.
Ruth works as Artist in Residence at Georgia Tech's College of Architecture. She has curated touring exhibitions that merge art and architecture, including Terrain Vague: Photography and Architecture in the Post-Industrial Landscape (Atlanta Contemporary Art Center 2002, Carnegie Museum of Art 2003). For her work, Dusseault has received over a dozen artist awards, including one from New York's Artadia Foundation (2009), the Emerging Artist Award from the Forward Arts Foundation (2003) and an NEA Design grant (2006). Most recently, she was awarded an Artist Residency at the Center for Land Use Interpretation (2010). Her work is exhibited and collected internationally.
Sharon Harper uses photographs and video to record a subjective experience of landscape. Geographically descriptive elements in the work transform, giving way to a psychological, interior rendition of the natural world. Technology has a dual purpose in the work. It interferes with a direct experience of nature by mediating the encounter, yet it offers perceptual experiences unseen and unattainable without it via camera optics, high-speed trains and nighttime digital vision. This work seeks out the spirit of the experiences celebrated by the Transcendentalists in a landscape irrevocably altered by technology while offering perceptual experiences that new technology affords. It engages traditional notions of the sublime and re-evaluates them in the context of the contemporary natural world in an experiential manner.
Joel Lederer is an artist and educator whose background in photography has inspired his recent work, which deals with virtualization, networked environments and mediated experiences. His main subject is the “natural landscape” which serves as a tool for analyzing our exploration and navigation within our data rich environmental interfaces. His work asks the viewer to consider and re-consider how memory, imagery and experience shape our world and world-view. He received his BFA from Parsons School of Design and his MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. He has exhibited in Rochester, NY and New York City. He currently teaches at Baruch College and the International Center of Photography. He currently resides in New York City.
Beth Moon was a fine art major at the University of Wisconsin and a self-taught photographer with interests in alternative printing processes. The majority of her work today employs the Mike Ware platinum printing method that she learned while living in England. Beth has exhibited widely in England, France and throughout the U.S. with solo shows in London, San Francisco and Chicago. She has won several awards including the Golden Light Award from the Maine Photographic Workshops and she been published widely in major photographic magazines.
Aleix Plademunt questions the relationship between man and space throughout his work. He is interested in the way in which all landscapes have some form of human interference, even if this is almost in detectable. Plademunt states ‘I wonder about the immensity of space and its magnificence. There are no virgin spaces left: It does not matter how far they are, the landscape always has a human trace behind.’ Another theme of Plademunt’s is the way in which humans are constantly producing evermore objects and materials. Many of these become forgotten and abandoned. ‘Abandonment is implied in any process of creation’. Aleix Plademunt’s images are often empty and desolate spaces framing human intervention. His ‘Espectadores’ series is almost haunting in the invocation of an absent audience. Each time the audience has departed or is yet to arrive to view the human, industrial interventions in the landscape.
In 2002, when Jean-François Rauzier created his first hyper-photographs, he was already an established photographer in search of a new creative method that would differ considerably from the traditional model. He strove to capture “the panorama and the macro view all at once, to stop the time and to have the possibility of viewing all the details of a static image.” Rauzier’s works transform reality, they fascinate with their scale, and take their viewer on a journey through the visible world. He uses thousands of high-resolution close-ups views and collages them into monumental pictures thus maintaining the focus and sharpness of the smallest detail. He carefully composes each element, creating his own supernatural man-made world. Using digital technologies, he cuts, moves and constructs tree-trunks, branches, leaves and many other objects carefully collected during long photographic sessions to inspire a new fantastic landscape, a capricious picture or a baroque masterpiece. He weaves a magical space, to embody surreal visions, to lead the viewer past the fantasy. He strives to transform the world according to his dreams, wishes and anxieties, and to recreate the magic and secrecy of ancient legends and stories using 21st century media.
Maggie Taylor was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1961, and graduated from Yale University in 1983 with a BA in philosophy. In 1987 she received an MFA in photography from the University of Florida. During this time her work evolved from black-and-white suburban landscapes to more personal and narrative color still-life imagery. Using an old 4x5 view camera and natural light, she photographed bits and pieces of the everyday: old toys, broken bottles, and animals from the garden. Since 1987, her still-life photographs have been exhibited in more that 60 one-person exhibitions throughout the U.S. In 1996 and 2001 she received State of Florida Individual Artist's Fellowships. Her current images explore the use of a computer and a flatbed scanner in place of a camera. By placing objects directly on the glass top of the scanner she is able to create a unique type of digital image which has some photographic qualities.