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Exhibition offers a study of photography outside of a traditional academic setting
Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Foley Gallery is presenting The Exhibition Lab Exhibition”, a group show featuring work by Eva Fazzari, Susan Evans Grove, Amy Montali, Francis Minien, Alex Nelson, David Bernstein, Miles Kerr and Aleya Lehmann Bench.

The Exhibition Lab is a study of photography outside of a traditional academic setting. The initiative was co-founded by Michael Foley in 2010 as a study center for fine art photography dedicated to learning by critique. Students of the Ex Lab meet over the course of 5 months, holding critique sessions with one another and one-on-one sessions with Foley. Guest Faculty included Elinor Carucci, Martine Fougeron and Andrew Moore.

David Bernstein’s images of homes in his adoptive-state of Ohio allow the viewer to experience this landscape as he does; both familiar and foreign. While Bernstein has lived in the Midwest for nearly two-decades, he still feels like a visitor. David’s photographs depict the emotional distance he feels and allows him to embrace his Romantic search for home.

Amy Montali aims to capture liminal spaces between the ordinary and the heroic. Montali’s work reflects a sustained period of uncertainty – each subject seems both nowhere and anywhere. The proverbial question looms: what now? Using visual and psychological elements in scenarios Amy invents for the camera in real time, she considers her work to be “momentary performances” that are neither portraits nor documents. For each viewer, a new story unfolds.

In contrast to Montali’s “invented” scenes, Eva Fazzari’s series “From Ashes” documents burnt homes and the people displaced in the aftermath of domestic fires. Fazzari’s images embody stillness and allow for somber reflection. In one of Eva’s portraits, a man and his dog gaze outside a window, the bright sunlight symbolizing hope: a year prior they narrowly escaped a fast moving fire. From Ashes is a story of rebirth, of people uniting and reestablishing a sense of home.

Miles Kerr produces dream-like images that explore consciousness. His series “Sleep Paralysis” represents a private, subjective and internal reality. Kerr’s work visualizes the mysterious compulsions of our bodies and the way our actuality is created within the brain. By using a fragmented narrative structure, he portrays the state that exists between dreaming and wakefulness wherein a person is unable to speak or to move but can experience the waking world.

Francis Minien photographs items we see everyday –curtains, walls and vases. In his series, "In Between Borders", these items pass through our acknowledging eyes to our subconscious and are recorded as uneventful, so our attention moves on. Minien believes if you stop your eyes for a moment, and adjust your focus, you may see the color, the light, and the symmetry that makes the everyday beautiful.

Susan Evans Grove seeks to find the magical in the mundane. Her series “On the Hard” is named after the phrase for a boat out of the water in dry dock, either for repair or winter storage. This is not a natural state for a boat. It is often not the best of times for the boat or its' Captain. Frailties are exposed but the damage itself is quite beautiful; just as with humankind. Grove records the surfaces of these vessels, revealing the storms these boats have transversed. Like cave paintings etched in their hulls, these images pay tribute to the power of the sea and remind us we are not in control of nature.

For the past seven years Alex Nelson’s central subject has been her family in the wake of her parents' divorce. In her series “From Here on Out”, Nelson explores how the divorce has shifted her family members' established roles and interpersonal dynamics. Through both spontaneous and crafted imagery, she records how the dissolution of her nuclear family has affected her parents, brothers and herself over time. At once personally empathic and formally reflective, the photographs intimate tensions to unearth connections.

Aleya Lehmann Bench is a painter turned photographer, and she continues to create art in a similar way. Bench determines form, color, and composition before she begins. In her series “a very costly masque prepared but not shown”, she references contemporaneous descriptions of sixteenth-century theatrical elements. Aleya creates a simple stage that includes a set, props, and costumes. With her camera set to a long exposure, She captures the movement of the figure—pulling the light, color, and form across the picture plane—thereby creating an illusion of motion and, at the same time, one of reverie.

“The Exhibition Lab Exhibition” will remain on view through August 12th, 2017.

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