Fiat Lux is a group exhibition of work by five emerging Philadelphia artists: Stefan Abrams, Micah Danges, James Johnson, Anna Neighbor and Brent Wahl. While each of the artists was trained as a photographer and has taught photography at universities and art schools in Philadelphia, none has a simple or straightforward relationship with the medium. Though photography is central to the work of all these artists, their explorations of the potentials and shortcomings of the medium result in a surprisingly diverse group of artworks. Abrams close-up images of surfaces challenge traditional conceptions of street photography. Danges, Johnson and Neighbor utilize collage and sculpture to make works that comment on the processes of photography. Wahl creates sculptural installations which he then photographs. The exhibition title has a dual reference; it is the Latin phrase meaning Let there be light, and is also the name of an English pop band, whose song Photography was a hit in 1983.
The work of all five artists responds to successive earlier generations of photo-based artists who questioned and challenged established notions of photography. At the same time, they are addressing the overwhelming proliferation of photographic images in todays society and how it relates to making art. A recent New Yorker cartoon captures the bewildering relationship we have with this flood of imagery. In it, a tourist mother offers the father her digital camera saying Look at the picture I took of the thing were looking at.
The exhibition was organized in an innovative way. John Caperton, The Print Center
s Jensen Bryan Curator, worked in conjunction with the five artists, collaborating as a group on the planning of the installation. Over a period of months, the group visited each artists studio together to discuss how their works interrelated. The checklist and installation plan for the exhibition were collaboratively planned. Some of the works included have been created specifically for the exhibition, while others will be shown for the first time. Fiat Lux continues The Print Centers explorations into the significance of the printed image in contemporary art. It also highlights the creative diversity of Philadelphias artist community.
Stefan Abrams received an MFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 2006 and a BA in History from the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 1992. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at Arcadia University Art Gallery, Glenside, PA; Pierro Gallery, South Orange, NJ; Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA and X-Initiative, New York, NY. He has received two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships. He teaches Photography and the History of Photography at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, PA and The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ.
Micah Danges received a BFA in Photography from Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA, 2001. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at Bodega Gallery, Fleisher Art Memorial, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Rebekah Templeton Gallery and Vox Populi all Philadelphia, PA.
James Johnson received an MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 2002, and a BFA in Photography & Graphic Design from Marywood University, Scranton, PA, 1999. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA; Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD; Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Lump, Raleigh, NC; Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD; Oakland University Art Gallery, Rochester, MI; and Space Gallery, Portland, ME. He teaches Photography and Digital Arts at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, PA.
Anna Neighbor received an MFA in Photography from Tyler School Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 2006 and a BFA in Photography from New York University, New York, NY, 2000. Her work has been included in recent exhibitions at Greenlease Gallery, Kansas City, MO; Fleisher Art Memorial, Rebekah Templeton Gallery and Vox Populi, all Philadelphia, PA. She teaches Photography, Digital Arts and History of Photography at the University of Pennsylvania and Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.
Brent Wahl received an MFA in Photography from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2006 and his BFA in Photography from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, 1992. His work has been included in recent exhibitions at Arcadia University Art Gallery, Glenside, PA; Dumbo Art Center, Brooklyn, NY; Space Gallery, Portland, ME; Philadelphia Photo Art Center, Vox Populi, Slought Foundation and the Institute of Contemporary Art, all Philadelphia, PA. He teaches Photography at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA