Exhibition Review: Infinite Summer at Nailya Alexander
Infinite Summer at Nailya Alexander Gallery
Written by Katherine Heiserman
All Images courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery
The Nailya Alexander Gallery’s midsummer show is humming with heat and tranquility. The photographs, mostly black-and-white, work beautifully together, balancing soporific gray hues and high contrast lighting to achieve a feeling of otherworldliness. The works are as much about quiet seclusion as they are about the mental transcendence it allows for. The distinction is subtle, captured by sprinkled shadows on a windowpane or two children sleeping peacefully in a hammock, cocooned by the woods around them.
The show’s seven photographers are connected by their distinctive artistic processes, which extend beyond conventional shooting and printing. Alexey Titarenko, George Tice, Pentti Sammallahti, and Sumner Wells Hatch are masterful dark room printers who employ unusual printing techniques to alter color and light while developing their own work. Titarenko uses selective bleaching, solarisation, and toning to enhance his street photography. He is also known for his innovative use of long-exposures and slight camera movement. Tice has notably experimented with antiquated nineteenth century photographic processes including platinum printing and calotype.
Marcia Lippman employs more contemporary methods by enhancing her film negatives using digital software, while Ann Rhoney does something all together different by painting over her silver gelatin prints.
William Meyers ironically seems a traditionalist among them, though he is known for breaking with classical New York photographic tradition by photographing outside of Manhattan. His show Outer Boroughs: New York Beyond Manhattan was exhibited at the New York Public Library in 2015 and released as a book that same year. Shot using thirty-six millimeter black-and-white film, Outer Boroughs intentionally retains some of the techniques of early Manhattan street photographers.