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An article about our club photo exhibit published in the local newspaper "The Davis Enterprise" on December 31, 2008
Through the lens
By Melissa Hiatt | Enterprise art critic| December 31, 2008 08:03
Years ago, on a dry desert plain, I worked as an exhibition designer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, N.M.
My first show was guest-curated by Beaumont New-hall; works by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Paul Strand and Alfred Stieglitz graced the walls. When the crates arrived, three days of skipped coffee breaks and the traversal of many flights of stairs resulted in the viewing of said Steiglitz and Weston pieces, as they were pulled from billowing shredded paper and popping plastic sheets.
Heart palpitations were involved.
American photography has an incredibly rich history, although the transformation of photography to an accepted artform - alongside painting and sculpture - was almost single-handedly the work of Stieglitz. His own photography is heralded, and his reputation as an art dealer unprecedented ... and, after a time of obsession with very young women, he chose a rather incredible wife.
He fell in love with Georgia O'Keeffe while promoting her art, and they married in 1924.
It happens that right here in our valley-so-low, we're blessed with a group of photographers who possess both skill and a passion for the great American photograph. Our own historic City Hall - now Bistro 33 - is housing this collection through Twelfth Night.
Given the immediate flood of memories this show brought on, it feels both natural and obvious that David Jolkovsky's 'Passion Flower' would bring O'Keeffe to mind. As with O'Keeffe's 'White Trumpet Flower,' this photograph exposes intimacies and depth that otherwise would be missed.
Jolkovsky's photograph is beautifully created. The layering of the flower's anatomy is striking, and the color screams intensity. He has successfully captured the depth of minutia in a way that causes a viewer to feel like Alice, gone into the rabbit hole.
Perhaps one could just ... hop on!
Blaine Beaman's 'Deer in Snow' is incredibly well composed. The fascinating bit here is that both time and space coalesced to bring these deer and Beaman together, for such a breathtaking glimpse of nature. Painters may wait for the light, but photographers wait for the moment.
This piece immediately brings an Adams' 'Half Dome, Trees, Deer' to mind. In both photos, the forces of nature have created jutting edges and impressive contrasts. Both photographers captured the truth and intensity exposed to them.
Adams' technical mastery was the stuff of legend. Perhaps more than any other photographer before or since, he loved the process of photography. Both Edward Weston and Paul Strand often consulted him for technical advice, and Adams was the principal photographic consultant to both Polaroid and Hasselblad.
Adams and Weston met in 1927, and the two quickly grew increasingly important to each other as both friends and colleagues. The renowned Group f/64, founded in 1932, coalesced around them. Group f/64 brought national attention and acclaim to the new West Coast vision of straight photography.
San Francisco's DeYoung Museum promptly gave f/64 an exhibition, while also granting Adams his first one-man museum show.
The Photography Club of Davis - Samer Alassaad, Blaine Beaman, Bill Blakewell, Susan Bovey, Mark Castellucci, Clyde Elmore, Rob Floerke, David Jolkovsky, Ian Kennedy, Pieter Pastoor, Michael Radin, Mark Robinson, Robert F. Sahara and Jerry Schimke - does itself proud at the current show. It's definitely worth a trip to Bistro (and while you're at it, grab a cocktail).
'Our photographs are inspired by our love of nature and photography,' the club members explain. 'Photographs that deliver a message make us think with our minds, and feel with our hearts, so we will never forget, and will share those memories with passion.'
"Passion Flower" by David Jolkovsky
"Deer in Snow" by Blaine Beaman
"Autumn Twilight" by Robert Sahara