'That Luscious Day' and 'Daguerreotypes: Up Close' open at PDNB Gallery

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'That Luscious Day' and 'Daguerreotypes: Up Close' open at PDNB Gallery
Thomas Kennaugh, Girl with Doll, 2023. Archival Pigment Print. Courtesy of PDNB Gallery, Dallas, TX.

DALLAS, TX.- PDNB Gallery, Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery - dedicated to photo-based art, opened two exhibitions on October 14, 2023.

'That Luscious Day' Marcy Palmer’s suite of gold leaf photographs explore the subject of beauty. She takes botanical photographs, mostly flowers, and then gilds them to emphasize their preciousness. Marcy is inspired by this quote by John O’Donohue, “I think that beauty is not a luxury, but that it enobles the heart and reminds us of the infinity that is within us.”

During the pandemic so many of us sought inspiration and comfort in nature. Our attraction to local flora was amplified. Perhaps this is why the work resonates, the beauty is profound. These are mostly small, exquisite photographs that are gilded with 24k or 18k gold leaf. Marcy identifies the early botanical images by Anna Atkins as a major influence, as well as Karl Blossfeldt’s important plant studies.

PDNB is including Marcy’s abstract series, Unearthing. These expressive images can be viewed as documented performance art. She is pulling string, mixing organic matter, wire and other elements into a punctured, painted backdrop with colorful light shining through. These images convey tension, joy, chaos of the natural and her imagined world. Given the gallery’s previous show of early abstract photography, this is a continuing exploration of contemporary abstract photography.

PDNB Gallery is exhibiting 'Daguerreotypes: Up Close' for the first time since opening the gallery in 1995. Within this press release, the term, “dags” will refer to these 19th century photographs. This exhibition was conceived and curated by Thomas Kennaugh. He is both a collector of early photography and an artist who incorporates photographs into his own work.

In 1837, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre invented the process of capturing an image seen inside a camera obscura. The process of fixing the image on a sheet of copper, coated with a thin coat of silver, made it possible to hold the image indefinitely.

These dags were so detailed by the nature of the process, we still find ourselves in awe of the magic of this early invention.

Thomas Kennaugh is sharing his dags in a unique way. The exhibition will pair these small, beautifully cased images along with 22 x 17-inch photographs of each daguerreotype in the show. I asked Thomas what drew him to collecting these relics. The passage of time, both physically and metaphorically is interesting to him. The deterioration of the daguerreotypes and of the sitter creates enchanting imagery. He said he has been collecting since 1975.

Thomas is drawn to portraits of the elderly, early images from 1839-1845, unique faces. and postmortem. He is also attracted to historical references, for example, “Fought in the Revolutionary War, lived to be 100.” Also, famous subjects are always a great find. He decided to enlarge the daguerreotype portrait to make the work more accessible. The photograph enlargements reveal more character and offer a new way of seeing the subject.

Special Gallery talks scheduled during these exhibitions:

Marcy Palmer, Saturday, October 28, 2023 @ 2pm
Thomas Kennaugh, The Daguerreotype, Saturday, November 4, 2023 @ 2pm

PDNB Gallery
Marcy Palmer: That Luscious Day
Thomas Kennaugh: Daguerreotypes Up Close
October 14th, 2023 – November 25th, 2023

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