Lay Flat – Shane Lavalette

October 28th, 2009

layflat01_coverLay Flat 01: Remain in Light, edited by Shane Lavalette and Karly Wildenhaus, quickly sold out of their edition of 1000, published just this past January 2009. Now Lavalette, the founder and editor, is working with guest editor Michael Bühler-Rose for Lay Flat 02: Meta. The issue is centered around photographic work that is “conceptually engaged with the history, process and conventions of the medium itself.”

As with the first publication, some of the production costs of this collectible journal is funded by donations. Be part of this creative venture and support Lay Flat. Patrons contributing $50 or more by November 15 will receive a screen-printed Lay Flat tote bag. To donate electronically, visit and click “DONATE” on the left. Any amount big or small will get you listed on the donor list which is turning out to be a “who’s who” of photography people.

Shane Lavalette has no shortage of ideas. Aside from being a photographer himself, he plans to release the first artist book from Lay Flat (as an independent imprint) in Summer of 2010 and has curated the exhibition Ladies and Gentleman at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts at Harvard University from November 1-November 29, 2009. LG_LavaletteFrom the website: “Ladies and Gentlemen consists of a selection of found studio portrait cards – 12 women and 12 men, each measuring approximately 4.5 x 6.5 in. – as collected by photographer Shane Lavalette. The cards were produced in the late 19th Century by various photographic studios around New England, many in Vermont where Lavalette is originally from. The images often depict subjects gazing out of the frame, frozen and lost in thought. Brought together, the photographs ask us to consider the personalities and roles of these individuals as well the blurred line of femininity/masculinity that exists on their surface.”

You can also follow Lavalette on his blog, Journal.

Simon Roberts

October 21st, 2009

The critically acclaimed exhibition We English at Klompching Gallery is closing this weekend. If you missed the show like I unfortunately did, there are other ways to enjoy the work of Simon Roberts.

Devil's Dyke, South Downs, East Sussex, 2008 © Simon Roberts

Devil's Dyke, South Downs, East Sussex, 2008 © Simon Roberts

FotoWeek DC, the annual photography festival uniting the photographic communities, galleries, and museums in the nation’s capital, will be happening again this November throughout the city. Simon Roberts will have work up at the Swedish Embassy in the exhibition What Lies Beneath: Nature and Urban Landscape in EU Photography curated by Judith Turner-Yamamoto. The exhibition opens on November 7.

lmtd_bookAvailable through Klompching Gallery is the limited edition box set of We English that includes a signed book, a signed print, and a local newspaper from Roberts’ travels around England. Edition of 100. In the UK, the limited edition can be purchased here.

And if that is not in your budget, Andy Adams and Flak Photo are partnering with publisher Chris Boot, Ltd. to give away three signed copies of the trade edition book. Become a fan of Flak Photo on Facebook and visit the “Book Giveaway” tab. Deadline for entries is November 1, 2009.

Joel Sternfeld: Oxbow Archive

October 8th, 2009

I finally got around to buying Oxbow Archive, Joel Sternfeld’s latest monograph published by Steidl just last October. Good thing – it is almost sold out. I grew up in the Pioneer Valley and aside from the painting View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow, 1836 by Thomas Cole as inspiration for photographing the flood plain of the Connecticut River east of Northampton, Massachusetts, I wondered why choose that American landscape. It is an indescript landscape of cultivated fields surrounded by the chaos of brambles and overgrown vegetation. Yet by following the seasonal progression of Sternfeld’s photographs, I journeyed through the quite landscape, the diffused New England winter light, the crunchy cornstocks, the long grass, the dirt roads, the frozen little puddles that crack when you step on them, and I felt quite nostalgic. Driving north on 91, the Holyoke mountain range opens up into the fields of the valley that allow for an expansive view of the flood plain. Impressive, as in the painting by Cole, but it is through the photographs of Sternfeld, that the layers and details of landscape are explored.

Matthew M. Smith

October 3rd, 2009

Process: Word & Image opens tonight at Photoworks Gallery, Glen Echo Park, Maryland with a reception from 6-8pm. On view is the work of Matthew M. Smith and John Borstel, photographers whose work uses text and imagery to, according to Karen Keating, “examine the consequences of self-revelation.” Included in the exhibition are pieces from Smith’s “Series 5.” I met up with Matt last year to discuss, at that time, Series 1, 2, and 3 for an article I was writing for the December 2008 issue of ArtVoices Magazine. For me his work “is an internal journey that manifests itself in deliberate spatial plays of tension between the constructed and the real.” To learn more about Matt’s work and read the article, click here.


Burtynsky at the Corcoran

October 2nd, 2009

Oil Fields #19a & 19b, Belridge, California, USA, 2003

Oil Fields #19a & 19b, Belridge, California, USA, 2003

Edward Burtynsky: Oil opens this weekend at the Corcoran with a special event featuring Burtynsky and Dr. William Rees, an ecological economist, at 4pm on Saturday. The exhibit showcases the production, distribution, use, and disposal of oil in large-scale photographs notorious of Burtynsky. “In 1997 I had what I refer to as my oil epiphany,” Burtynsky explains: “it occurred to me that all the vast, man-altered landscapes I had been in pursuit of for over 20 years were all possible because of the discovery of oil and the mechanical advantage of the internal combustion engine.” The exhibition catalog by Steidl is not out yet, but you can get a copy at the Corcoran and have Burtynsky sign it tomorrow after the event.

New for the Corcoran is this video I found on their site. Paul Roth, Senior Curator at the Corcoran, discusses the work and briefly walks you through the exhibit.

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