Sometimes you just develop a crush on an artist and it’s tough not to think about the work A LOT. I’ve had these crushes on just about every artist represented by Cumberland Gallery but today I’d like to focus on photographer Greg Sand who recently paid us a visit with an extensive portfolio of work for our upcoming exhibit, Under The Radar, opening January 11th, 2014.
Sand’s prints are incredibly intimate, just the right size to gently cradle in your hand. The imagery is haunting, consisting of antique portraits in which the subject has been erased leaving only a trace of their existence represented by a pair of shoes, an empty chair, or the lonely shadow of the photo’s former occupant. In the artist’s words: The photographs are now about the absence of the subject rather than about the subject itself. Hopefully the viewer ponders the removal of the person and concludes, given the obvious age of the portraits, that the subject is dead. “By giving me the absolute past of the pose… the photograph tells me death in the future… I shudder… over a catastraphe which has already occurred.” These words from Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida describe how I feel when I view a photograph as old as the ones used in this series. I feel a connection to the person, followed by a dread of what is to come, followed by a sense of grief at what has already transpired. The removal of the subject–who is very much alive in the photograph–forces the photograph to more truthfully depict the present reality in which the subject is no longer alive.
This is interesting to me on two levels. The first being that I’ve thought about loss a lot lately as our current show, Unique Visions, paints a varied picture of memory and history; a past the exists only in representations and imaginations. There’s a sadness behind the wild patterns and humorous digs at the private lives of the characters that hang on these walls. One that touches on every aspect of the unseen/unheard self.
The second reason that I find Sand’s work interesting is, simply put, timing. How odd that this poignant imagery should come across my desk just as I’d spent the previous evening looking over the very Barthes essay that Sand references in his statement. Following on the previous night’s dreams of the expression on the face of Lewis Powell, a man convicted and hanged for the attempted assassination of US Secretary of State William Seward during the Lincoln administration. Barthes uses his image as an example of both the gaze of the past and future. The catastrophe that has already occurred before its time. It seems that we might all relate to this idea in a way that is intensely personal and here I am back again at the intimacy of Sand’s photographs. The small images gently reminding me of the passage of time with a nod to the future that fits so perfectly in the palm of my hand. This is one artist that won’t be under the radar for long. Visit his page on our website or make a point of stopping in to see this work in person on January 11th during our opening reception.
Greg Sand, Brothers, 2012
3.75″ x 3.75″ archival pigment print
What’s the best part of being a Gallery Manager you ask? Well, opening a crate and finding three Marcus Kenney collages inside of course! We are really looking forward to this weekend when Unique Visions opens with a reception Saturday October 19th, 6pm-8pm. Local artists will be in attendance as well as featured artist Fred Stonehouse.
This group show featuring the likes of Julie Blackmon, Craig Cully, Andrea Heimer, Mark Hosford, Marcus Kenney, Will Smith and Fred Stonehouse is going to be the coolest thing in Nashville in the month of October and possibly all autumn long.
Gallery Manager Description of Show: Defining the often incongruent relationship between community and self, seven artists wade through social history and personal myth in works that range from painting to animation to photography. This eclectic mix of mediums is happily coupled with humor, sarcasm, and a subversive drive to expose humanity in all its beautiful, bizarre and grotesque forms. Expect rich and varied color against swampy backgrounds, quilted suburban secrets, eerily still interior spaces, and the unsettling side of familiar childhood relics.
As a special Artober event, Cumberland Gallery and Sideshow Fringe are joining forces in an evening event that highlights both Unique Visions and site specific theatre. Sideshow actors will create domestic tableaus around the works in the exhibit and perform those pieces Thursday, October 24th, 6-8pm.
About Sideshow Fringe: Actors Bridge has always taken risks on emerging talent. In 2011, the commitment reached a new level with Sideshow, a training immersion program comprised of 12 emerging artists. Each ensemble produces professional theatre events as a supplement to the Actors Bridge main stage season including the SIDESHOW FRINGE. Named Best Theatrical Youth Movement in the Nashville Scene’s 2012 Best of Nashville Awards, Sideshow is committed to pursuing innovative forms of theatre.
Both events are free and open to the public.
You know it’s going to be a good day when it begins with a visit from one of Nashville’s most interesting (and slightly off the wall) artists. We have had the great fortune of having Mark Hosford drop in to deliver his work for our upcoming exhibition “Unique Visions”. This show runs October 19th through November 23rd, 2013 and includes Hosford, Frank Stonehouse, Craig Cully, Will Smith, Marcus Kenney, Julie Blackmon and Andrea Heimer.
Look for Hosford’s unique mixed media sculptures made of vintage record players with prisms that reflect macabre animations. We are also excited about an installation of Mark’s animated video “Bicycle Built for Two”. Don’t miss the opening reception on October 19th from 6-8pm.
Cumberland Gallery’s Brad Durham is represented in the catalogue for LUCIANO BENETTON’S IMAGO MUNDI, Luciano Benetton Collection / Contemporary Artist from the U.S.A. His painting can be seen on page 171. The exhibition for the show is at the QUERINI STAMPALIA FOUNDATION, Venice Italy through October 27.