The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 22, 2018

Photographer Jane Szabo solo show on view at Los Angeles Center for Digital Art
Sense of Self Gridding the Space #3. ©2014.

By: Shana Nys Dambrot

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The images in Jane Szabo’s Sense of Self exist at the intersection of multiple threads of contemporary photography -- self-portraiture generally, and by women artists in particular; a related exploration along the continuum of gender roles and the construction of identity; and as a purely formal matter, the narrative potential for serial images and the emotional depths of abstraction. Szabo started making this work following a period in which her series of environmental portraits called explored parents photographed in their childrens’ rooms and vice versa. Whether the subject was male or female was not as important to Szabo as was the sense of dissonance that the displacement of the person in the space created. The work ignited in Szabo the somewhat unsettling conviction that, as she says, “it was time to turn the camera around.” The gestural, impactful, evasive, awkward beauty speaks to the vulnerability and self-examination Sense of Self was conceived to chronicle.

Susan Sontag and other public intellectuals engaged with the problematic charisma of photography often deconstructed the language of the medium, which is the language of the hunt. Take, capture, shoot. Its predatory leanings were especially apparent in the male photographer/female model structure that had inhabited all of art history and only grew more dominant with the advent of photography. In this context, female self-portraiture took on and continues to retain a special power within the genre -- a quality that telegraphs political, personal, psychological, literary, and emotional awareness. Yet to some degree this imbalance of power exists in every transaction where one person takes another person’s picture. In that sense, Szabo’s deployment of self-portraiture, inspired by her experience picturing others outside their comfort zones, is more concerned with matters of universal human nature.

Though reminiscent of artists like JoAnn Callis (with less sexuality and more clothing) and Cindy Sherman (with less makeup and much less mess) -- whose staged self-portraiture overtly takes on the power dynamic -- for Szabo, Sense of Self is about her individual “struggle to maintain a sense of order in myself and my environment (a process that is failing).” It’s an “attempt to contain chaos” that reflects her “urge to grid and sort” as a mechanism of control -- a trait that inevitably comes into conflict with what she calls her “desire to be free.” In service of this idea, the evocative blurriness of the figures and the surreal, stylized yet minimal atmospheric architectural settings -- and the heavily symbolic interaction between the figures and elements of this environment -- suggest both regimentation and expressivity. Her use of serial imagery, what the artist calls “documenting a process” is part Eadweard Muybridge and part Virginia Woolf. Her background as a painter inheres in her photographic compositions, with her striking emphasis on pattern and color doing as much of the narrative work as the attitudes and actions of the figures (herself).

Today's News

July 29, 2014

David Bailey's most resonant and memorable portraits on view at the Église Saint-Anne

Exhibition at Abbot Hall contains some of Barbara Hepworth's most iconic sculptures

Exhibition of works by twenty-three contemporary artists on view at Gagosian Beverly Hills

Gauguin punch up with sailors recalled by Irish artist featured in Bonhams sale in London

American artist Mickalene Thomas exhibits at École Supérieure d'Arts Plastiques, Monaco

18th century treasures highlight Heritage American Numismatic Association Auctions

Exhibition focuses on relationships among photographic work of three artists active during the 1970s

Kim Gattle appointed as Deputy Director for Institutional Advancement at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Olympic Gold Medal and lock of George Washington's hair among highlights of Grey Flannel's auction

Alfredo Jaar's iconic 1987 Times Square intervention 'A Logo for America' returns in August

Fabulous Ferraris and beautiful Bugattis take centre stage at RM AUctions' London sale

New paintings by California-based artist Michael Gregory on view at John Berggruen Gallery

Istanbul's ArtInternational announces line-up for the fair’s dedicated sculpture terrace

Tropical Australian Mangroves painting wins $50,000 Waterhouse Prize

British Antique Dealers' Association announces new Certificates of BADA Provenance

Billboard for Edinburgh celebrates 25th artist with new installation by Charles Avery

Jonas Mekas' '365 Day Project' exhibited as a large-scale installation in Karlsruhe

Photographer Jane Szabo solo show on view at Los Angeles Center for Digital Art

Fri Art opens Rabih Mroué's first Swiss solo exhibition

Fun & Games exhibition opens at Toledo Museum of Art

Countdown begins for John Fries Award

Ania Bas and Tim Knowles lead performative walk at opening of 2014 Edinburgh Art Festival

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful