NEW YORK, NY.- Barry Friedman Ltd
presents a solo exhibition of new larges-scale color photographs from American photographer Michael Eastmans Urban Luminosity series. Taken across Asia and North America over the past 4 years, Eastman explains, these images engage architectural abstraction with luminance to capture the way light is reflected off of or diffused through urban surfaces. The exhibition, Eastmans third at Barry Friedman Ltd, will open with a reception for the artist on Thursday, September 13th, from 6:00-8:00p.m.
Urban Luminosity exemplifies architectonic alchemy. Reflections on metallic walls, the flattened perspective of a hotels rotunda, undulating waves of a Frank Gehry building and dramatic façade lighting, encourage us to examine our relationship with our man-made environs. The union between common elements of the city with sensuous surfaces, lights, and colors, combine to form a skin in which we find ourselves encapsulated. This commonality is illustrated in modern and contemporary architecture found in cities as diverse as: Shanghai, Osaka, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Seattle, St. Louis, and New York.
Almost all of the Urban Luminosity photographs are made after dark and therefore require very long exposures (up to ten minutes), says Eastman. Therefore, it is difficult, if not impossible, to pre-visualize the image. When the processed negatives are scanned and the image appears on the computer screen, the results are revealed for the first time. It is a very compelling moment, as the previously unseen subtle traces of light and faint reflections emerge as stunningly bold fields of color and unexpected compositions.
In Eastmans book, Havana, published in 2011 by Prestel, critic Vicky Goldberg writes, Color as forthright, as riotous, as eloquent as Eastmans, is a balm for the eyes, the mind, and possibly the heart, and much of the architecture in his pictures is both a sidewalk gaiety and a triumph. Michael Eastman has established himself as one of the leading contemporary photographic artists. A purist to his large format camera, negative film and natural light, Eastman fills his painterly images with jewel-like tones and dramatic highlights. Long exposures and a wide-angle lens create far-reaching visual clarity, rich colors and lavish detail.
Michael Eastman was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1947. The range of his oeuvre is diverse, including such themes as horses, sublime landscapes and urban and European architecture. His publications include his most recent Havana, Vanishing America (Rizzoli, 2008), and Horses (Knopf, 2003), and his photographs are featured in Rainer Maria Rilkes book Auguste Rodin, published by Archipelago Press. Eastman has been a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts grant, and has been published in Time, Life, and The New York Times. His photographs are included in numerous public and private collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.