The FRESH 2021 Annual Photography Exhibition is presented by the Klompching Gallery in New York City, curated by Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching.
Now in its 10th year, the exhibition is curated from an international open call for submissions of photographic artworks and will open with a reception on Saturday, September 18, 1:00–4:00 PM.
Reflecting how photography is understood across different platforms, the FRESH Annual Photography Exhibition incorporates the three elements of display,publication and dissemination: an exhibition, a printed catalog and an online showcase.
From this group of 20 finalists, 5 photographers are curated into the exhibition. FRESH 2021, affords the artists a rare and covetable opportunity, to have their work presented on the walls of one of New York’s leading art galleries, and to gain pivotal exposure in one of the art world’s most vibrant cities.
The FRESH 2021 exhibiting artists are: Thomas Kellner, Karen Navarro, Holly Roberts, Aline Smithson, and Ingrid Weyland.
The fifteen FRESH 2021 finalists featured in the online showcase are:
Jon Scott Anderson, Debra Bilow, Beth Dow, Carol Erb, Iwona Germanek, Rebecca Hackemann, Toni Pepe, Paul Rider, Kristin Schnell, Leslie Sheryll,John Slepian, Liz Steketee, Brandy Trigueros, Jonas Yip, and Michael Young.
With Half-timbered Houses of the Siegen Industrial Area Today, Thomas Kellner brings a new, contemporary treatment to the 20th century tropes championed by Bernd and Hilla Becher’s typologies. Kellner has documented 19 of the remaining half-timbered houses in the Siegenland region of Germany. The small-scale photographs—crisp in focus with a blurred background mimicking a shallow depth-of-field, and with a desaturated color profile—transform the structures into something other-worldly, akin to diorama-like miniature props.
Aline Smithson’s Fugue State Revisited is an exquisite visual commentary on the potential loss of photographic archives and records. Utilizing the corrupted digital files from a vintage hard drive, the artist has overprinted ruined photographs with cyanotypes. One might view these as being a 19th century blue-print (the cyanotype), in dialogue with a 21st century blue-print (binary code). Rich in color, and dynamic in form, the photographs speak to memory (real and imagined) and the role that the photograph performs within this context.
The unconventional portraiture of Karen Navarro, explores themes of multiplicity of identity and self- representation. The Constructed Self series, consists of striking colorful, sculptural objects that combine paint, wood, embossing and resin. The physical deconstruction of the photograph, incorporated by the artist on artworks that range in size from petite to iconic, transform and challenge the tradition of portraiture and photography alike.
Artworks commenting upon environmental issues continue to be all pervasive, with Ingrid Weyland bringing a unique and original approach to the subject. Through her lushly colored photographs of Argentinian landscapes— Topographies of Fragility—she comments upon the decline and deterioration of the environment, through a physical form of paper destruction in her photographs—crumpled imagery laid atop the same photographic vista. The artist’s authorship is quiet and understated, with the artwork requiring an active looking on the part of the viewer.
The artist Holly Roberts asks a simple question—how much photographic information does one need to define a face? The Ten Portraits series consists of abstracted collages, utilizing a restrained color palette, combined with the occasional pop of color. Ink washes mesh with photographs. Whimsical, fantastical and echoing the 20th century Surrealists, the artworks challenge the notion of portraiture, utilizing a bare minimum of visual clues.
The exhibition represents a range of approaches and treatments in current photographic practice. Each year, the FRESH open call reveals common trends, subjects and themes—this becomes part of the basis for the exhibition’s curatorial vision. For this 10th edition of the Fresh Annual
Photography Exhibition, we have once again witnessed an overarching treatment of photography as object, and a vehicle for re-imagining the artist’s respective narratives in innovative physical forms. These treatments, might
also be described as reframing the photograph, as well as successfully placing these photographic objects into well- established contexts.
The FRESH Annual Photography Exhibition was founded by Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching in 2011, and reflects the passion and commitment, Klompching Gallery has for contemporary fine art photographs, as well as providing opportunities for artists in their quest for recognition and success in their field.
Klompching Gallery was established in DUMBO, Brooklyn in 2007, and specializes in the exhibition and sale of contemporary fine art photographs. It represents an international roster of artists, including the critically- acclaimed Helen Sear, British/Australian artist Odette England, and Barcelona-based Max de Esteban. The gallery has placed artworks into several notable public collections, and works with numerous private clients in building their contemporary art collections.