Exhibition Review: "New Vision/New Generation"
By Ava McLaughlin
The “New Vision/ New Generation” exhibit at the Julie Saul Gallery features four different photographers chosen to highlight the “past influencing the present” theme of the exhibit. The four artists the exhibit includes are Làszló Moholy-Nagy, Alejandra Laviada, Luigi Ghirri, and Andrea Grützner. The show pairs art from two well-known masters of photography with two younger artists whose work inspired them to create. The collection of images surfaces on one common interconnected theme involving how the past building blocks of life shape the present.
The first photographer featured in the exhibit, Làszló Moholy-Nagy, was made famous for his photograms during and after World War II. He created a “New Vision” that spread widely after the war and still continues today. His system of placing diverse materials on photographic paper and later having them exposed created uniquely mysterious compositions creating a new look, or vision, to photography. This show includes some of his rare photograms.
The second artist, Alejandra Laviada, symbolizes the second artist of the ‘past’ and tags along on the ‘New Vision’ of abstract art along with Làszló. In using discarded building materials, especially wood, she was able to form abstractly, beautiful, yet simple compositions. She used these discarded materials to form unique formations as well as simple shapes, such as circles and more defined patterns. The use of these literal building block images transitions into the next two artists.
Luigi Ghirri transformed the outlook of photography in Europe in the 1970s pioneering the use of color and merging document in his diverse bodies of work, but his work never surfaced in the United States until now. His photographs of vintage, urban geometry create a world of aesthetic realism. The shots of everyday homes, towns, and the normal items you might pass by everyday are captured in a new light. His way of creating a tranquil environment in his pictures makes the viewer feel they were taking a walk down the street in an alternate dream world we wish we were a part of.
Andrea Grützner juxtaposes old and new in her architectural based photographs. In photographing only cuts and pieces of great architecture, she enables the audience to see the buildings in a different perspective. She focuses on the edges, tops, and sides of buildings that people wouldn’t normally focus on or highlight as beautiful. She also uses reflections of building windows to show, again, a new perspective of a normal, everyday view.
These four artists have something in common; the use of everyday images to create a newfound sense of realism and perspective. The set-up of the exhibit further approaches this by starting out with Alejandra and Làszló ’s images with their basis of architectural-esque photos and then transitions to Luigi and Grützner’s images of full building shots. This use of building blocks into full buildings enhances the overall theme of the past shaping and influencing the present. The audience is able to make this connection with these beautiful and abstract shots that are nothing more than real.
“New Vision/ New Generation” will be on display until February 3rd at 535 W 22nd St # 6F, New York, NY 10011. For more information see here.