Exploring the Photographic Contact Print
Cassilhaus Gallery, Chapel Hill, NC
December 15, 2015 – March 15, 2016
participating artists: Eugène Atget, Edouard Baldus, George Barker, George Barnard, Mathew Brady, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Harry Callahan, Paul Caponigro, Linda Conner, Binh Danh, Eliot Dudik, John Dugdale, James Fee, Eugene Omar “E.O.” Goldbeck, Lisa Gray, Roger Haile, Alex Harris, David Alan Harvey, Tama Hochbaum, Frank Hunter, Thomas Kellner, Sally Mann, Fredrik Marsh, Chris McCaw, Geanna Merola, Andrea Modica, Karl Moon, Timothy O’Sullivan, Olivia Parker, Eric Pickersgill, Michael Prince, Tom Rankin, F.A. Rinehart, Linda Foard Roberts, David Scheinbaum, MJ Sharp, David Simonton, Leah Sobsey, Frederick Sommer, Ralph Steiner, Burk Uzzle, and Caroline Hickman Vaughan.
Integrating Art Into the Community
“[Thomas] images can tell us about their subjects that more “realistic” images cannot do.” Wendorf, Richard All shook up. Thomas Kellner Photographs the Boston Athenaeum, 2008, The Boston Athenaeum Boston, USA page 1
Actual Size: Exploring the Photographic Contact Print was curated by Frank Konhaus with copious and thoughtful assistance provided by Eliot Dudik. The use of the word “Exploring” in the title was intentional as not all of the images in the exhibition are contact prints and, given that virtually all photographs prior to the early 1900s were contact printed, a comprehensive survey of the subject would be above my pay grade. A little less than half of works in the exhibition are drawn from the Cassilhaus Collection with the balance being generously loaned by artists, collectors, and galleries across the county. As with many of our exhibitions, this one started with a simple and innocent enough notion—in this case to pull together some of the contemporary contact prints from our collection and do a small show. Never wanting to miss an opportunity to make my life vastly more complicated, however, I fell deeply down the Contact Print rabbit hole. A very short and crazy 2 1/2 months later we have a beautiful exhibition of nearly 80 works by 50 artists spanning 150 years of the history of photography and a score of different formats and negative sizes from 35mm to 40”x50.”
This exhibition would not have happened without the assistance of Ellen “vinyl girl” Cassilly, Hannah Frieser, Jessina Leonard, Alyssa Miserendino, Michaela O’Brien, and Susan Harbage Page, and the generous loans from Catherine Edelman Gallery, Terry Etherton Gallery, Scheinbaum and Russek LTD, Schneider Gallery, Lisa Sette Gallery, Eliot Dudik, Alex Harris, Tama Hochbaum, Roger Haile, Frank Hunter, Fredrik Marsh, Chris McCaw, Geanna Merola, Eric Pickersgill, Tom Rankin, Linda Foard Roberts, MJ Sharp, David Simonton, Leah Sobsey, and Burk Uzzle. A special shout out to Linwood Hart and Mark Mooney with Craven Allen Gallery who are always there for my all too frequent framing “emergencies.” I am particularly in the debt of Jim and Jane Finch for the loan of all of the historical works in the exhibition. Jim’s enthusiasm for photography collecting in general and historic sub-genres in particular is practically explosive and he is incredible generous with his time and knowledge.
Many of the works in the exhibition are for sale and, as always, we encourage you to support the work of participating artists by purchasing and living with their amazing work. Even those works listed as NFS are often from limited editions that are available for purchase directly from the artists or their galleries.
thank you to Frank Konhaus putting my work in such a wonderful selection of artists. And thank you to Hannah Frieser for linking us together and to Martha Schneider for the loan from Schneider Gallery Chicago
“This image of the Colosseum belongs to the series Tango Metropolis of world renowned architecture shown in a different light. With newly discovered energy, this project manages to shake the very foundations of the static monuments, moving beyond the evident beauty of the images themselves. The pictures tell a new story about popular tourist destinations, using a new visual language and drawing attention to details never seen before. Using his unique technique, Kellner manages to create an image of a building, in which the massive stone walls are cut into pieces and perspectives are disorganized. In this way he succeeds in deconstructing and reconstructing the object simultaneously. This method provides the buildings with liveliness, movability, spirit and dynamics. ‘With subversive irony Thomas Kellner’s architectural photographs do not appear as the postcardesque pictures of iconic monuments we carry in our minds, nor can they be seen as images documenting these monuments’ perfect form. His buildings do not appear consolidated, much rather deconstructed into multiple fragments and reconstructed to assume an entirely new form. However, the ostensible interpretation of Kellner’s work as being cubistic-fragmentarian montages is too narrow. In fact, his art explores the history of the photography genre in a media-reflective way. Its essence lies within the fact that his large-scale color photographs are contact sheets composed of consecutively assembled filmstrips of a single shooting session.’” Alison Nordström in Thomas Kellner: dancing Walls