Thursday, November 22, 2012

Domingo Milella

Myra, 2012, C-print, 180 x 225 cm, Edition of 5

Domingo Milella

23 November 2012 - 26 January 2013

Domingo Milella's forthcoming solo exhibition at Brancolini Grimaldi, his first in the UK, features new images of important ancient sites in the Mediterranean, where remnants of power, culture, life and death are captured. Over the last ten years, Milella's subjects have been cities and their borders, cemeteries and villages, caves and homes, tombs and hieroglyphs - in short, signs of man's presence on earth. His interest lies in the overlap between civilization and nature and how landscape and architecture are invested with individual and collective memory.

In the ancient Turkish city, Myra, Milella has photographed the spectacular tombs that are carved into stone cliffs, as if they are part of the mountain. The carved façades appear almost like a cluster of homes, the design reflecting how the wooden houses of the period would have looked. In another image, Milella has photographed a sanctuary in Phrygia, a lime stone formation filled with ancient holes, shaped by both natural and human interaction. A place of refuge, of spiritual purpose and sacrifice, the sanctuary encapsulates Milella's enquiry into an identity which is simultaneously archaic and contemporary.

The fallen ruins of the Greco-Roman theatre of Termessos stand at 1600m above sea level and almost appears to be part of and contained by the Taurus mountains that surround them. They have endured over two thousand years of elemental weathering, frozen in time on the day the city was abandoned. The idea of durability and the passage of time on language and culture are also present in the image of the cemetery at Van, a city on the border between Turkey and Iran. Muslim graves stand in a snowy field. Their height and dark, monolithic presence make them appear like the skyline of a modern city. Inscribed with Selgiuchid writings, the graves are an architectural model of time, of memory and of survival.

The hieroglyphs of Hattusas date from 1200 BC and tell the story of military glory of the last Hittite emperor. Milella's image reflects on the physical achievement of carving a rock with language, but also on a message that has survived thousands of years, whose meaning is almost lost, but which has survived the collapse of empires, nations, culture and languages. In an image taken in Cavustepe in the Neoassiro area of now modern Kurdistan, we see conic writing inscribed in granite, the first form of writing invented by human kind and still intact despite being exposed to the elements. While in the 21st century much of our communication is transitory, instantly forgotten and lost in the digital ether, these ancient examples of writing make us question how we are writing our present, and how we are building memories in this digital era.

The exhibition will also include Milella's Index, a compendium of 30 of the most evocative images from his last decade of work, presented as a visual sequence of the themes and subjects that constitute his vision and quest. Milella has said of his work, "Making images doesn't only mean documenting or taking photographs. It's also a possibility for contemplation and recollection. Building an image of the past is to face the present, and activate the possibility of the future."

Milella's upbringing in Bari, a port town in southern Italy, has informed his work from the beginning. Modern apartment blocks, bunkers left from the Second World War and industrial waste lay alongside olive fields, crumbling churches and the wild Adriatic Sea. Bari continues to be a source of fascination to Milella though he has also made work in Mexico City, Cairo, Ankara, Anatolia, Sicily, Tunisia, Mesopotamia and now Turkey.

Milella, born in 1981, in Italy, divides his time between Bari and New York. At the age of 18, Milella moved to New York to study photography at the School of Visual Arts (BFA 2005), where Stephen Shore was one of his teachers. He has since worked with Massimo Vitali, and Thomas Struth has been an influential mentor. Milella has exhibited at Brancolini Grimaldi (Rome), Tracy Williams, Ltd. (New York), Foam photography museum (Amsterdam), the Venice Biennale and Les Rencontres d'Arles where he was nominated for the Discovery Award in 2011.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Miles Aldridge Announcement


Miles Aldridge, born in London in 1964, has published his photographs in such influential magazines as Vogue Italia, American Vogue, Numéro, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Paradis.  His work has been exhibited worldwide, with pieces residing in many significant public and private collections. A selection of his portraits hangs in the permanent collections of The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the International Centre of Photography in New York. Aldridge has published several books, most recently: The Cabinet, 2007; Acid Candy, 2008; Miles Aldridge: Pictures for Photographs, 2009.

Miles Aldridge is first of all an artist of the subconscious, and secondly a fashion photographer. Aldridge is famous for his decadent colour-saturated photography; the feeling  produced is strong and surreal but also humorous. Cinematic expression marks his work: his dream-driven, erotic style, that takes pleasure in scratching at the thin veneer laid over the fashion world, has been compared to that of directors Bergman, Buñuel, Lynch and Hitchcock. Miles Aldridge’s images present a stupendously glossy and magnetically vibrant world. His visual language is conveyed through beautiful and elegant women who animate a storyboard that unfolds on an exquisitely staged mise-en-scène.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Show 2012

2nd August – 1st September 2012

Brancolini Grimaldi announces a summer group show including work by Massimo Vitali, Mitch Epstein, Dan Holdsworth, Sophy Rickett, Roy Arden, Marie Amar and Peter Fraser. 

Mitch Epstein, Cocoa Beach, FL, 1983
Several key works by Mitch Epstein, one of the most influential photographers working today, are featured in the exhibition. Taken from Recreation – American Photographs (1973 – 1988), Cocoa Beach I shows cars and camper vans gather in a crowded Florida campsite at dawn to witness the launch of the space shuttle. In another image, tourists in Glacier National Park, Montana, turn their binoculars to the sky, though the object of their gaze remains a mystery. Flag taken from Family Business, shows the American flag carelessly folded and wrapped in polythene, recently returned from the dry cleaners.  The series explores the failure of the American dream through the eyes of Epstein’s father and the sad decline of his business during the late 1990s.

Roy Arden, most well-known as a photographer, is also a collector and archivist of images on a grand scale. His archive of images, which he has collected from newspapers, magazines and the internet, form the starting point for his small-scale collages which playfully explore themes of history, modernity and pop culture though fragments of cut and torn images.

Sophy Rickett, Untitled (Nature Study, 2009
Much of Sophy Rickett’s photographic and video work has explored encounters between people and nature, and the implicit human desire to connect with or to experience a sense of the ‘sublime’.  The starting point and inspiration for Untitled (Nature Study) is a barn owl centre in rural England, which organises various ‘Barn Owl Experiences’ for people interested in seeing the birds close up.  Rickett was interested in making idealized photographs of the birds, as natural and haunting as a real encounter in the wild might be. In fact the images are highly orchestrated, and push the photographic process to the limits of its technical capabilities.  Other nature studies show branches against the sky, in which Rickett experiments with form, colour and light.

Dan Holdsworth’s recent work, Transmission New Remote Earth Views, appropriates data from the US Geological Survey to document the ideologically and politically loaded spaces of the American West in an entirely new way. In his images of the Grand Canyon, the distinctive rock formation becomes abstracted through the process of removing vegetation and other natural aspects of the landscape, so that meaning is made through what it is absent, as much as what is seen. With neither the schema of the romantic nor the everyday to guide us, Holdsworth absorbs us into a vision of the unknown; a space that is unequivocally, transcendentally, Other.

La Poussière by Marie Amar is a series of images in which she transforms degraded material produced during the process of drying clothes, into photographic meditations on the nature of colour, time and the value of waste.  Softly floating abstracts hover on the picture plane, the colours ranging from jewel-like reds and blues, through to sooty blacks and sculptural greys.  The images reflect on the interaction between man and technology, a beautiful homage to the usually ignored residue of that interaction.

As well as photographs from Peter Fraser’s recent series, A City in the Mind, the exhibition also includes Small Robotic Arm CK Airbrush, 1997 taken from Fraser’s  iconic Deep Blue series. Inspired by IBM’s attempts to create a computer capable of beating the Grand Master chess player, Gary Kasparov, Fraser photographed some of the world’s most scientifically advanced technological instruments, creating portraits of them as if them were sentient objects.    

Massimo Vitali, Cabo Frio, 2003
Also included in the exhibition are several of Massimo Vitali’s iconic beach scenes from the US and Europe.  Seemingly unaware of Vitali’s gaze, holidaymakers swim in the sea, or try to find space on the crowded beaches. For Vitali, the beach is a place where the mundane and everyday merges with natural beauty.  The images reflect a sense of freedom, even hedonism, but with their uniform bleached out light, there is also a sense of conformity and even banality.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Peter Fraser - A City in the Mind

Peter Fraser, Untitled 2008 - 2011

Peter Fraser has created a new photographic portrait of London. A City in the Mind takes its inspiration from Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities in which the explorer Marco Polo tells the Emperor Kublai Khan of the many fantastical cities he has visited on his travels. However, Marco Polo and the Emperor don’t speak the same language so the explorer uses objects from the cities to help tell their story. Similarly Fraser’s enigmatic photographs of London can be read as portals to another world, openings onto stories and histories, even other civilizations.

What kind of city is Fraser asking us to imagine through the images he brings back? Several photographs feature antiquated miniatures or models, perhaps from some kind of museum. Other images show objects whose visceral texture and colour leaps out from the picture plane –a suggestively fleshy conch shell; shiny chestnuts on a table; the glowing red vellum of a volume of Who’s Who. A dazzling chandelier and a gold chair hint at opulent palaces. Others could relate to learning –a white board is the subject of one image; an antique model of penicillin another. Here, as in his previous work, Fraser’s eye is drawn to things and interiors that would not fascinate most as they do him. The London of Fraser’s mind is mysterious and allusive, and reminds us that ultimately all cities are created in the mind.

Peter Fraser was born in Cardiff in 1953 and graduated in photography from Manchester Polytechnic University in 1976. In 1982 Fraser began working with a Plaubel Makina camera, which led to an exhibition with William Eggleston at the Arnolfini, Bristol, in 1984. Fraser’s many books include Two Blue Buckets (1988), Deep Blue (1997), and Lost for Words (2010). In 2002 the Photographers’ Gallery, London, staged a twenty year survey of Fraser’s work, and in 2004 he was shortlisted for the Citibank Photography Prize.

A monograph of A City in the Mind is co-published by Steidl and Brancolini Grimaldi with a foreword by Brian Dillon in May 2012.

A major exhibition of Peter Fraser’s work will be at Tate St. Ives from the 26th January to the 6th May 2013. Tate will publish a monograph covering the whole of Fraser’s career to date with an essay by David Chandler.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Blackout by Dan Holsworth is published by SteidlBG

Brancolini Grimaldi is delighted to present the first book to be published under the imprint SteidlBG. Please contact the gallery to reserve a signed copy of the new publication Blackout by Dan Holdsworth.

Follow this link for the full press release.

Dan Holdsworth - Transmission: New Remote Earth Views

Dan Holdsworth, Yosemite (detail), 2012

Brancolini Grimaldi announces a new exhibition of work by Dan Holdsworth curated by Sebastien Montabonel.
In Transmission: New Remote Earth Views, Holdsworth appropriates topographical data to document the ideologically and politically loaded spaces of the American West in an entirely new way. In his images of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Mount Shasta, Mount St. Helens and Salt Lake City (Park City), we see stark, uninterrupted terrains where meaning is made through what it is absent, as much as what is seen. What at first appears to be a pure white snow-capped mountain is in fact a digitally rendered laser scan of the earth interpreted from United States Geological Survey data, a ‘terrain model' used to measure climate and land change - to measure man's effect on the earth.
Belying his empirical methodology is the fact that each of these terrains has a rich and conflicting cultural legacy. Beginning with the idealised aesthetic of the Romantic sublime via the deadpan industrial frames of the New Topographics photographers a century later, each has been subject to the gaze of artistic, political, and sociological categories claiming this territory as their own. Extending ideas of the frontier and seeing anew, Transmission captures the world as if from space, functioning not only as a map of the land but as a mapping of the discourses that these lands have come to represent.
Working outside of the wilderness myths that render the images from the photographic avant-garde the ‘after' to nineteenth-century visions of Carleton Watkins' ‘before', Holdsworth opens up a working territory that is open to the ambiguous and ethereal, oscillating between realms of art and science, the familiar and the alien, the industrial and the natural. Without the signifiers of the natural there is no idealised wilderness or picturesque aesthetic, no invoking of the Romantic version of the sublime; and yet at the same time what is antithetical to these visual tropes - the man-made, the artificial, the vernacular of the New Topographics photographers - is also absent. With neither the schema of the romantic nor the everyday to guide us, Holdsworth absorbs us into a vision of the unknown; a space that is unequivocally, transcendentally, Other.
Holdsworth was born in 1974 in Welwyn Garden City, England. He studied photography at the London College of Printing, and has exhibited internationally including solo shows at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, and Barbican Art Gallery, London; and group shows at Tate Britain, London, and Centre Pompidou, Paris. His work is held in collections including the Tate Collection, Saatchi Collection and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. A new book of Holdsworth's work titled Blackout will be published by BG Steidl in March.
Dan Holdsworth would like to thank and acknowledge the following people, organizations, references and resources: Dr. Stuart Dunning: Dr. of Geomorphology at Northumbria University, England. The US Geological Survey: Gesch, D.B., 2007, The National Elevation Dataset, in Maune, D., ed., Digital Elevation Model Technologies and Applications: The DEM Users Manual, 2nd Edition: Bethesda, Maryland, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, p. 99-118. Gesch, D., Oimoen, M., Greenlee, S., Nelson, C., Steuck, M., and Tyler, D., 2002, The National Elevation Dataset: Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, v. 68, no. 1, p. 5-11.Yosmemite National Park, CA: Rockfall Studies: LiDAR data acquisition and processing completed by the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM - NCALM funding provided by NSF's Division of Earth Sciences, Instrumentation and Facilities Program. EAR-1043051.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lise Sarfati | She

Lise Sarfati: She - in pictures

Images from She, an exhibition by the California-based French photographer that features a series of mysterious photographs of two sets of sisters.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lise Sarfati Financial Times coverage

Lise Sarfati: women on the verge.

Photographer Lise Sarfati studies the lives of teenagers and young women in America.

Read the article online about Lise Sarfati from Financial Times.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lise Sarfati - She

Brancolini Grimaldi announces a new exhibition, She, by leading French photographer Lise Sarfati.

Lise Sarfati’s series She, made between 2005 and 2009, features four American women – two sisters, Sloane and Sasha, their mother Christine and her sister Gina. Sarfati has photographed them separately in various settings from the interiors of Victorian houses to outside on the street.  Sometimes wearing wigs or make up, it is hard to distinguish the pairs of sisters from each other and there is a sense that their identity is fluid, almost interchangeable.  Their expressions are often inscrutable though each photograph is filled with psychological intensity and often melancholia too. The project took four years to complete, but time is compressed, years are mixed up so in the end, the individual images of these four women make up one story.

Sarfati has said about this work, “I like doubles, like mothers and daughters, or sisters or reflections. This represents my research into women’s identity…I am interested in fixing that instability.

French-born Sarfati has worked and lived part of the time in the US since 2003, and She is her third series of photographs made there.  Sarfati prefers to make her work in small towns where life is slower and she can get to know her subjects. She was shot in four different locations: Oakland, Berkeley; San Francisco; Los Angeles and Phonenix, Arizona. The American backdrop also provides a prosaic normality to the images and roots them in the everyday vernacular of small town life.  This counterpoints the strangeness of the women as captured by Sarfati – Christine stares out wearing a bridal dress and veil, something she kept though she never married, her red lips and tattoos in defiant contrast to the traditional image of a bride. Gina walks empty handed out of a liquor store and in another image gazes into the distance while she smokes a cigarette. Why and for what purpose is never revealed, but the haunting strangeness of the images remain with the viewer.

Sarfati's pictures, respectful and noninvasive, of these women and what they invisibly share are an imaginative meditation not only on who they are, but also on who we are - beyond what we look like and what we wear - what we bring to life and what we might expect of it.”  Sandra S. Phillips, Senior Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 

Lise Sarfati (b.1958) has produced six series of works in the US each followed by major exhibitions and publications. These include The New Life (2003), Austin, Texas (2008) She (2005 - 2009), Sloane (2009) and most recently On Hollywood (2010).

Her work has been exhibited internationally at major galleries and public institutions including Yossi Milo Gallery, New York; Rose Gallery, Los Angeles; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris: Maison Rouge, Paris; FOAM, Amsterdam; Photographer's Gallery, London and Nicolaj Center of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen.

A retrospective of Lise Sarfati’s work will be at the  Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris in 2014.

She, a monograph published by Twin Palms with a text by Quentin Bajac, will be released in Spring 2012.