View Full Screen [opens new window]
The nature of making art typically depends on creating iterations of a core concept or idea. The works included in Seeing in Sequence reveal some of the diversity of approaches available and exploited in the art-making practice. The repetition of visual elements, the use of narrative and the depiction of time are explored in this exhibition.
Andy Warhol effectively changed the way we “read” the image of Marilyn Monroe by using garish colors to undermine the significance and authenticity of the iconic image. The variants in color suggest that rather than being unique, the image is infinitely reproducible. David Deutsch’s aerial images of neighborhoods in Los Angeles employ a structure of constants for picture making. Each image is shot from about the same angle, always at night, and there’s nothing overly interesting in any specific picture. Through this insistent consistency emerges an inquiry that ponders why these ersatz surveillance images are really revealing something of importance. Jennifer Bartlett’s Four Seasons imply a narrative by their title, and the consistency in palette and touch further the progression of the idea. Within each of the four works are images that signify the differences in the seasons with the image of death as a constant throughout them. These are the subtle variations on the stated theme. Ralph Steiner’s thirty photographs of clouds speak to photography’s insistence on cataloguing “types” as well as the artist’s conviction toward stopping time to hold on to the moment. The sheer quantity of meditations on the subject reveals much about his fascination and sustained engagement.
The strategies inherent in working in sequence convey much about how focused an artist can be during the manifestation of an idea. The “compare and contrast” nature of pairings and grids allow the viewer to witness the subtle nuances from image to image. These often-delicate differences from one work to the next are often the record of incremental progress toward resolution.