ARThound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

“Framing Migrant Labor”─Matt Black, TIME’s Instagram Photographer of the Year, shows his work on the Central Valley at SRJC’s Agrella Gallery, lecture and reception on Monday, November 16

“Riding to work in a farm labor bus,” Fresno, CA, 2004, 16 x 20 inches, archival pigment print on Museo Silver Rag paper, courtesy Matt Black

“Riding to Work in a Farm Labor Bus,” 2004, 16 x 20 inches, archival pigment print on Museo Silver Rag paper, courtesy Matt Black

California photojournalist Matt Black was born in California’s Central Valley and lives there now, in the small town of Exeter.  Some of his strongest work has been done within a 100-mile radius of his home. Working with a 35mm camera, he establishes a strong visual dialogue with the migrant workers in this drought-parched land, drawing us into the difficulties of their makeshift lives.  Each shot is framed in such gorgeous natural light, with such care, that we feel his respect for their individual stories, their dignity, and for the land.

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Robert F. Agrella Art Gallery, will present “Framing Migrant Labor,” featuring 25 large images from Matt Black’s photo essay “From Clouds to Dust,from November 12-December 10, 2015.  In addition to Black’s photos, some 25 works by Sonoma County photographers Morrie Camhi, Otto Hagel, Hansel Mieth and Ernie Lowe will provide a look back at migrant labor from the 1930’s. 60’s and 70’s. The opening reception is Monday, November 16, from 4 to 6 PM and that same day, from noon to 1 PM, Black will talk on his documentary photography work at the campus’ Newman Auditorium as part of its Arts & Lectures series.

“Dust storm rips off the roof,” Avenal, a small farming town in California’s Central Valley, 2009, 16 x 20 inches, archival pigment print on Museo Silver Rag paper, courtesy Matt Black.

“Dust Storm Rips Off a Roof,” 2009, 16 x 20 inches, archival pigment print on Museo Silver Rag paper, courtesy Matt Black.

Matt Black’s work focuses on the themes of migration, agriculture, social inequality and the environment in his home country and in southern Mexico. Last year, he was named TIME’s Instagram Photographer of the Year (2014) and is a 2015 Nominee Member of the Magnum Photo Agency.  He won the 2003 Alexia Professional Grant for his work “The Forgotten Black Okies: A Lost Journey into a Land of Broken Promises” which was named a Pulitzer Prize Finalist.  In 1994, Black received an Alexia Student Award of Excellence for his project “The Transbay Terminal: San Francisco’s Destitute Gateway” which documented the homeless people who refuged themselves in San Francisco’s primary mass-transportation depot.  In October 2015 he received the W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography. He has been has been profiled in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Time and Slate.  He just gave a workshop for prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop, considered the premiere photojournalism workshop.  Right after his visit to Santa Rosa, Black, in high demand, jets off to Germany where he will be giving a workshop at Hamburg’s LFI (Leica Fotografie International) Workshop.

His current project “Geography of Poverty” in co-production with MSNBC, involves a cross-country trip where Black will stop in over 77 cities, documenting the plight of over 45 million people who live at the poverty level in the United States.

“Elderly farm workers at home,” Teviston, CA, 2001, 16 x 20, archival pigment prints on Museo Silver Rag paper, courtesy Matt Black

“Elderly Farmworker at Home,” 2001, 16 x 20, archival pigment prints on Museo Silver Rag paper, courtesy Matt Black

“To have Matt Black speak at our college and to have his work at the Agrella Art Gallery to share with our students and our community, is quite thrilling,” said Renata Breth, SRJC Photography faculty & gallery director.  Breth first came across his work in his photo essay “The Dry Land” which appeared in The New Yorker (9.29.2014) and immediately applied for a major grant from the Randolph Newman Cultural Enrichment Endowment (of the SRJC Foundation) to bring the work to SRJC’s gallery where it could be seen by students and the community.  “The photo essays speak without hesitation, in a direct, honest and sincere voice. The photos show poverty, drought and farm workers, revealing a shocking reality many of us are unaware of.”

The technology will be of interest too.  All of Black’s photos appearing in the SRJC exhibit were taken with 35 mm film cameras, so they are from analog negatives.  They are each gorgeously digitally printed on Museo Silver Rag paper, a fine archival paper, which resembles silver halide papers, with exceptional depth and detail.

Details:  “Framing Migrant Labor” is November 12-December 10 at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Robert F. Agrella Art Gallery, located on the Santa Rosa campus on the first floor of the Frank P. Doyle Library, 1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa.  Phone: 707 527-4298. Gallery hours: 10 AM to 4 PM Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays and 1 PM to 4 PM Saturdays. CLOSED: Fridays and Sundays and All school holidays (including November 26th to 28th, 2015) and summer.  Parking Permits ($4/day) are required for both Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses.)

Opening reception: Monday, November 16 from 4 to 6 PM.

Matt Black lecture:  “Framing Migrant Labor” Monday, November 16, noon – 1PM, Newman Auditorium, Emeritus Hall, Santa Rosa Campus, SRJC (free to the public)

Gallery talk by Laura Larque and Andre Larque: “Historical Perspectives on Migrant Labor in California,” November 17, 2015, noon- 1 PM, Robert F. Agrella Gallery

Ernie Lowe lecture: “Photographing migrant labor in 1965”  December 1, 2015, noon- 1PM, SRJC Petaluma Library – Connie Mahoney Reading Room, 12.1.2015

  

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November 7, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Photography in Mexico” from SFMOMA at the Sonoma County Museum—opening reception Saturday, September 28; two talks in early October

For over four years, Mexican photographer Yvonne Venegas was permitted to document the family and home of Maria Elvia De Hank, wife of millionaire Jorge Hank Rohn, the former mayor of Tijuana.  “Nirvana” from the series “Maria Elvia De Hank” points to the early roots of the exhausting and contradictory life of privilege. 2006; inkjet print; 19 1/2  x 24 in.; Collection SFMOMA; © Yvonne Venegas

For over four years, Mexican photographer Yvonne Venegas was permitted to document the family and home of Maria Elvia De Hank, wife of millionaire Jorge Hank Rohn, the former mayor of Tijuana. “Nirvana” from the series “Maria Elvia De Hank” points to the early roots of the exhausting and contradictory life of privilege. 2006; inkjet print; 19 1/2 x 24 in.; Collection SFMOMA; © Yvonne Venegas

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) holds one of the world’s most distinguished collections of photography from Mexico, which is part of an unprecedented statewide tour of works from SFMOMA’s photography collection while the museum building is closed for expansion through early 2016.  The Sonoma County Museum is the first host for Photography in Mexico from the Collection of SFMOMA which opens with a festive reception on Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 6 to 8 PM.   Featuring approximately 100 photographs, Photography in Mexico reveals a distinctively rich and diverse tradition of photography in Mexico and includes works from Mexican photographers as well as foreigners who lived and worked in the country for years.  The show begins with works from the medium’s first flowering in the wake of the Mexican Revolution (1910–20) and goes on to explore the explosion of the illustrated press at midcentury; the documentary investigations of cultural traditions and urban politics that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s; and more recent considerations of urban life and globalization.  The exhibition includes work by Lola Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Carrillo, Alejandro Cartagena, Graciela Iturbide, Elsa Medina, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Edward Weston, and Mariana Yampolsky, among others.  Many of the photographs in the exhibition are recent gifts from Los Angeles collectors and philanthropists Dan Greenberg.

Enrique Metinides worked as a crime photographer in Mexico for over 50 years capturing murders, car crashes, and catastrophes for the nota rojas, Mexico’s infamous crime magazines.  “Rescate de un ahogado en Xochimilco con público reflejado en el agua,” (Retrieval of a drowned body from Lake Xochimilco with the public reflected in the water), 1960; gelatin silver print; 13.75 x 20.75 inches; SFMOMA, Anonymous Fund purchase; © Enrique Metinides

Enrique Metinides worked as a crime photographer in Mexico for over 50 years capturing murders, car crashes, and catastrophes for the nota rojas, Mexico’s infamous crime magazines. “Rescate de un ahogado en Xochimilco con público reflejado en el agua,” (Retrieval of a drowned body from Lake Xochimilco with the public reflected in the water), 1960; gelatin silver print; 13.75 x 20.75 inches; SFMOMA, Anonymous Fund purchase; © Enrique Metinides

“I am most interested in the lesser known contemporary work that illustrates the enormous divide of rich and poor,” said photographer and teacher Renata Breth, who will be giving a walk-through on October 10.  Breth won a large local following when she gave an engaging talk about the contextual history of Gregory Crewdson’s large-scale photographs in January at the Sonoma Film Institute.  “Hector Garcia and Enrique Metinides are photographers whose work and lives are fascinating.  Metinides, who for fifty years has photographed crime scenes and accidents, recently had a retrospective of his work at Aperture gallery in NYC.”

“It is a tremendous privilege to make these photographs available to a wide range of new audiences and forge fruitful relationships with institutions throughout the state,” says Corey Keller, SFMOMA curator of photography, who organized the tour. Photography in Mexico will also travel to the Bakersfield Museum of Art (September 11, 2014–January 4, 2015); and the Haggin Museum, Stockton (dates TBD).

9.Questions of land use and urban development pervade the work of contemporary Mexican photographer Alejandro Cartagena.  The stillness belies the violence that has a vice-grip on Mexico’s northern cities as the drug war has relocated to the suburbs. “Business in a Newly Built Suburb in Juarez,” from the series Suburbia Mexicana, 2009; inkjet print; 15 3/4 in. x 20 in.; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Alejandro Cartagena

Questions of land use and urban development pervade the work of contemporary Mexican photographer Alejandro Cartagena. The stillness belies the violence that has a vice-grip on Mexico’s northern cities as the drug war has relocated to the suburbs. “Business in a Newly Built Suburb in Juarez,” from the series Suburbia Mexicana, 2009; inkjet print; 15 3/4 in. x 20 in.; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Alejandro Cartagena

Exhibition Programming at the Sonoma County Museum

Thursday, October 3rd at 7 pmRevolution and Change in Mexico, Gallery talk by Tony White, SSU

Tony White will provide the historical background for the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the major political, social, economic changes in Mexico through the 1980s, and its transformation  into a modern urban, industrial country in recent years.  Since the Revolution led to a cultural renaissance beginning in the 1920s, he will also discuss the major developments in art, mural painting, literature and music.

Tony White is Professor Emeritus in History at Sonoma State University, where he taught Latin American History for 37 years.  He holds a Ph.D. in History from UCLA and is the author of Siqueiros, Biography of a Revolutionary Artist (Book Surge, 2009).  He has lived in Santa Rosa for 45 years. Click here for tickets.

Thursday, Oct. 10th at 7 pm—Photography in Mexico, Gallery talk by Renata Breth, SRJC

Renata Breth will highlight several of the photographers in the SFMOMA’s Mexican Photographer’s exhibition calling attention to unique Bay Area connections, influences and political aspects of the dynamic images.

Renata Breth, who grew up in Vienna, Austria, received her MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in filmmaking and photography. She has lived in Sonoma County since 1985 teaches photography full-time at Santa Rosa Junior College. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and received numerous awards.  Click here for tickets.

Details:  Photography in Mexico from the Collection of SFMOMA has an opening reception, Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 6-8 PM.  The exhibition ends January 12, 2014.  The Sonoma County is located at 427 7th Street, Santa Rosa, CA.  Street Parking.  Hours: Tues-Sun 11 AM to 5 PM.  Admission: $7 adults; $5 65 and older; free for children under 12.  Information:  707 579-1500 or http://www.sonomacountymuseum.org/.

September 28, 2013 Posted by | SFMOMA, Sonoma County Museum | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Photographer Renata Breth will introduce “Brief encounters”— the new film about Gregory Crewdson, photographer of the perfect moment—at Sonoma Film Institute Friday, January 18, 2013

Photographer Gregory Crewdson is the subject of Benjamin Shapiro’s documentary “Brief Encounters,” which explores Crewdson’s meticulous process of creating and then photographing a “perfect moment” in the world.

Photographer Gregory Crewdson is the subject of Benjamin Shapiro’s documentary “Brief Encounters,” which explores Crewdson’s meticulous process of creating and then photographing a “perfect moment” in the world. The film screens this week at Sonoma Film Institute.

Photographer Gregory Crewdson constructs large-scale photographs of America’s Suburbia in which beauty and a strong sense of the bizarre converge  to create the perfect teaser for some unknown story.  Inspired by film, Baroque Tenebrist painters (Caravaggio), and his own imagination, Crewdson often depicts an almost frozen protagonist surrounded by beautiful chaos.  Not only is his work fascinating, with a distinct psychological factor, but so is his process, which is the subject of Ben Shapiro’s new film, Brief Encounters (2012, USA, 79 minutes).   The documentary will screen Friday (January 18, 2013) at 7 p.m. and Sunday (January 20, 2013) at 4 p.m. at Sonoma Film Institute on the Sonoma State University campus.  On Friday night only, the film will be introduced by internationally recognized photographer Renata Breth, chair of the photography faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College and a long-time fan of Crewdson.  Renata is sure to lead the discussion in an interesting direction as she explores Crewdson’s meticulous artistic processes and their mesmerizing impact as well as Shapiro’s filmmaking merits.   

 Ten years in the making, Brief Encounters captures Park Slope native Gregory Crewdson in the process of composing images for his series and book Beneath the Roses, which profiles a slice of the American underclass.  I have not yet seen the film, nor have I met Crewdson, but his meticulously staged work is said to be influenced by a childhood obsession with his father’s psychoanalytic practice, a fascination with Diane Arbus, and David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet.”   Crewdson is represented by Gagosian Gallery in New York, teaches photography as an adjunct at Yale and is widely collected.   

Crewdson’s hauntingly beautiful photographs add a new dimension to the ‘Created Reality,’ ‘Staged Photographs,’ or whatever term we’d like to use.  He approaches his photographs more like a surreal painter and then creates realities as photographs that are seemingly ‘trapped’ in a documentary setting.  His has penultimate control of every detail and produces exquisite results, especially with lighting.  Crewdson has hired lighting designers, who used to work in the motion picture industry. The suburban or small town locations are distinctly American; they hint of secrets, engage us to look for clues in a drama about to happen, make us speculate about what did possibly happen.  Renata Breth

Details:  “Brief Encounters” screens Friday (January 18, 2013) at 7 p.m. and Sunday (January 20, 2013) at 4 p.m., at Sonoma Film Institute at Warren Auditorium on the Sonoma State University campus.  Renata Breth introduces the film on Friday only.  Directions to Warren Auditorium: At the Main Entrance to the University, turn left off of E. Cotati Avenue onto Sequoia Drive. Take the first right at the Information Booth onto Redwood Drive. Turn left into parking lot E.  Warren Auditorium is inside Ives Hall, the building on the North side of the parking lot.  New Fees SSU Parking: Parking in all general parking lots, including Lot E, which is closest to Warren Auditorium is now $5, 24 hours, all 7 days of the week.  Film Admission: $5-7, free to SSU students with I.D. Information:  http://www.sonoma.edu/sfi/index.html  or phone: 707.664.2606

January 16, 2013 Posted by | Art, Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment