KLOMPCHING GALLERY is delighted to announce FRESH 2019, the gallery’s annual summer exhibition.
FRESH 2019 is co-curated by Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching, from an international call for submissions. Five photographers have been selected from a highly competitive field, and each will present a selection of photographs from a single body of work, considered by the jurors to demonstrate a strong vision, excellence in craftsmanship, and fresh insight to their respective subjects.
Emily Earl’s Late Night Polaroids series, depicts the grit and energy of people frequenting a single strip of bars
in Savannah, Georgia; in what the artist describes as the “swampy city,” and where it’s legal to take drinks out into the street. Photographed over the course of seven years, these black and white photographs—lit with intense flash—provide a stark view of the sidewalk drama that ensues in this public place between dusk and dawn—be it statements of fashion, lust, bravado or all-out shenanigans. Pictured is a startled girl in fur, revelers pressed up to a window, and a couple flirting at a bar among others.
An altogether different type of portrait is presented by Joni Sternbach. For her series Surfboards, the photographer plucks surfboards out of their beachside context, and photographs them completely isolated and centered on plinths, in a space reminiscent of a portrait studio. Here, Sternbach utilizes the wet-plate collodion process to good effect, visually teasing out nuances of form, material and embellishment. The human experience is very present though, with the photographer describing the boards as bearing “the imprint, a scar of the person who rode them.” Contact-printed onto silver gelatin paper, the photographs are intimate and quiet.
There is a certain level of quietness in the work of Leah Schretenthaler as well; despite the combative title of the series—The Invasive Species of the Built Environment. The photographer presents a contrary view of Hawaii’s palm tree-lined beaches, focusing upon the effects of the built environment on the landscape. She does this by laser-cutting those structures out of black and white photographs of them. The small-scale silver gelatin prints are desecrated in the same way that the landscape is, leaving behind a cut-out scar in the paper, further marked with a sepia-like discoloration.
The environment is also the focus of DM Witman’s work. Arctic Elegypays tribute to the disappearing icebergs of the Arctic. The historical photographs of William H. Pierce, are appropriated and reconstructed, by combining red gouache with salt printing. In her statement about the series, and indeed the title itself, she clearly points to the idea, not of icebergs in the process of disappearing, but perhaps already ‘having been’, as it may already be too late to save them. In this context, while the salt print is a nod to the historical component of the work—and perhaps the sea itself— use of the color red also might be seen to conjure it’s older symbolism for rarity, as well as a visual signal of distress.
Making an art object from the artifacts of photography’s production materials, tests the boundaries of what constitutes a photograph, and the work of Rita Maas is no exception. With the Residual Ink Drawings project, Maas collects empty printer ink cartridges and empties the residual ink onto photo rag paper. Once dried, they are scanned and reproduced as inkjet prints, before being assembled into a final abstract piece. Maas takes the underbelly of digital printing, so ubiquitous in photography, and transforms the raw element of ink into a representation of itself, together with the traces of the cartridges themselves.
Together, the five photographers selected for the exhibition, represent a good range of approaches and treatments in current photographic practice. Each year, the open call reveals common trends and subject themes. For the 8th edition of the Fresh Annual Summer Show, we see that the environment, our place in it and the photograph itself are front and center. Additionally, it is apparent that contemporary photography is more than mere images, but very much about the materiality of the photographic object itself—we see image destruction through laser- cutting, use of historical processes with contemporary application, reconfiguration of one process into another and photographs that challenge how we define what a photograph actually is. FRESH 2019 expands across thewall, the page and the internet—by showcasing the five photographers with a physical exhibition, publication in a printed catalogue and dissemination via online promotion. In addition to the exhibition, Klompching Gallery is showcasing photographs by ten FRESH Finalists and five FRESH Honorable Mentions on the gallery’s website and its social media. Finalists are:Jo Ann Chaus, Ellie Davies, Marcus DeSieno, J. K. Lavin, Klaus Lenzen,Jonathan Lipkin, Nancy Newberry,Paula Riff, JP Terlizzi and Tom Turner. Honorable Mentions are:Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Cindy Konits,Amanda Marchand, Sam Scogginsand Nathalie Seaver.
The KLOMPCHING GALLERY was established in Dumbo, Brooklyn in September 2007. Owned and operated byDebra Klomp Ching and Darren Ching, the gallery quickly established itself as a gallery with an extraordinary roster of artists from which to purchase some of the best examples of contemporary photography. Since its inception, the gallery has earned a solid reputation for providing informed guidance on the acquisition of contemporary fine art photography.