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Alan Bur Johnson and Alison Rossiter open exhibitions at Lisa Sette Gallery
Alison Rossiter, Kodak Bromesko (London), exact expiration date unknown, c. 1940’s, processed, 2011. Pair of unique gelatin silver prints, 8.5” x 6.5”. Courtesy of Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ.- Alan Bur Johnson’s works consist of framed photographic transparencies arranged in patterns that, in the words of the artist, “Can read like vibrations or sound, like the buzz of a swarm, or a human pulse on a monitor.” His newest work is an expansion of this concept as Johnson incorporates photographic negatives into tiny mass-manufactured, fabricated steel frames that visually reference the repetitious syllabic structure of poetic forms.

In groupings consisting of as little as one and as many as 600 parts, the works seem to come to luminous life as each framed, wing-like component flickers independently in the wake of an exhalation or current of air passing through the room.

The individual photographic images and the general organic contours of Johnson’s “Swarms” echo one another in their emergent cellular structures. Johnson remarks that he possesses “an enduring interest in understanding not only how structures develop and function, but also what causes them to break down and how they become reassembled or assimilated into a new structure.” Johnson’s photographs underscore this abiding concern; he incorporates images of insect hives and wings with the medical scans of a brain stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. The dark lacework of these subjects is remarkably similar, a mysterious confluence of intertwining cells and fraying structures. The works seem to affirm that though ephemeral and vulnerable individually, biological entities endure in a more universal pattern, and may be reborn again, hanging in the bright atmosphere, shimmering in the clear desert air.

Alison Rossiter, a photographer whose work has been exhibited internationally since the 1970s, embarked on an expansive body of work concerned with the developing of old photographic paper in 2007, after she experimentally developed a paper with a 1946 expiry date. In the ghostly configuration that appeared, Rossiter recognized an iteration of the passage of time and the passing into obsolescence of certain materials once common to the photographic medium. Since then, Rossiter has scoured the Internet for packages of antique photo paper. She also finds them at garage sales and a number of them are gifted to her from descendants of deceased photographers. Collecting papers that have been previously opened and exposed to light (resulting in a solid black when developed), she hopes that a residue of prior ownership will appear in the latent image, where light has passed through the opaque, but not impervious, packaging over the years. Rossiter primarily relies on circumstantial chemical reactions and light exposures, creating mysterious, sophisticated abstractions as she imprints a literal record of the tools of the medium.

These silvery or black-and-white images speak eloquently of the artist’s decades of experience and profound relationship with the physical materials and processes of photography. In Rossiter’s works, photographic history is documented in mysterious compositions of fingerprints, dust, mold, creases, and the impressions of unknown variables, and the result is a revelation. In a 2011 interview with The New York Times, the artist remarked, “For me, it’s a personal imperative to know more about the history, materials and processes of my medium.”




Today's News

January 5, 2013

Art Experiment opens at the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow

TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund grants awarded to American and British Museums

Poster auction draws monster movie and pop culture fans to Swann Galleries

Five early 20th-century Spanish paintings acquired by Meadows Museum

The Henry Ford acquires major Studio Glass collection donated by Bruce and Ann Bachmann

Sotheby's London to present exhibition of British art curated by legendary 1960s gallerist Kasmin

Palm Beach Modern goes 'behind the velvet rope' Jan. 19 to auction Studio 54 archive of co-founder Steve Rubell

Vernacular albums, fine art images draw bidders to Swann Galleries' auction

Retrospective exhibition featuring the work of one of China's most dynamic artists Zhang Dali at Eli Klein Fine Art

Solo exhibition by San Francisco artist Amy Trachtenberg opens at Brian Gross Fine Art

The Origin of Nymphs by New York based artist Jeff Muhs opens at Lyons Wier Gallery

Best of the Northwest: Exhibition presents selected paintings from the Tacoma Art Museum's collection

Group show at Frank Lloyd Gallery unites seven ceramists from all over the world

Auschwitz-Birkenau sees record visitors in 2012

Arkansas Arts Center hires curator of contemporary craft and curator of drawings

The Miami International Art Fair brings art for the new year and next generation

James Capper: Divisions opens at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The 1815 Half Eagle: New discoveries, new monograph on storied coin from Heritage Auctions

Alan Bur Johnson and Alison Rossiter open exhibitions at Lisa Sette Gallery

Excavators head to Myanmar to find WWII Spitfires

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