Liz Nielsen

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Let There Be Light

Isabel M. Martinez, Liz Nielsen, Katarina Riopel, Tim Roda, Alison Rossiter, Sarah Sands Phillips, Jim Verburg

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Local Void #2 (Darkness is the Light That Has Not Yet Reached Us), 2016
Chromogenic print, framed
Edition 2 of 3
40" x 32"

ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present Let There Be Light, a group exhibition curated by associate director Bill Clarke, which features work by seven Toronto and New York-based artists who produce photo imagery using in-camera and darkroom processes. A Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival Featured Exhibition, the show runs from May 11 to June 16, 2018 with an opening reception and artist talk on Friday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. 

I have seized the light – I have arrested its flight! – Louis Daguerre

 Ever since French artist Louis Daguerre’s experiments in the darkroom in the 1820s, and his compatriots Étienne-Jules Marey and Georges Demeny’s techniques of capturing human movement 60 years later, scientists, inventors and photographers have searched for methods of creating images that employ light as something other than a tool to illuminate an object or a person situated before a camera. By the 1930s, Man Ray’s adaptation of the photogram (into what he termed ‘rayographs’) had removed the camera’s shutter from the picture-making process altogether.

Writing in On Photography in 1977, Susan Sontag relegates Ray’s photograms, as well as work by László Moholy-Nagy, Alexander Rodchenko and John Heartfield, to the level of “marginal exploits in the history of photography”. However, forty years later, and despite the advent of digital technologies, many artists continue to produce images using analogue processes that capture the spirit of these innovations in their handling of light as a material, and the camera and darkroom as tools and sites of experimentation.

Tim Roda and Jim Verburg sensitively employ ‘outmoded’ equipment, such as photocopiers and pin-hole cameras, in their work. The delicate regulation of light by Isabel M. Martinez within the camera and the careful exposure of vintage photo papers by Alison Rossiter in the darkroom result in floating dream-like abstract forms. Fleeting light effects migrate between the digital and analogue realms in Sarah Sands Phillips' and Katarina Riopel's works, while Liz Nielsen’s arrangements of layered and coloured transparencies produce vibrant and playful images. Each artist, in their own way, beautifully demonstrates that the poetic potential of light remains an enduring area of artistic inspiration and experimentation.

– Bill Clarke

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Installation photograph (Let There Be Light)
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Installation photograph (Let There Be Light)
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Installation photograph (Let There Be Light)
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Installation photograph (Let There Be Light)
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Installation photograph (Let There Be Light)
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Local Void #4 (Darkness is the Light That Has Not Yet Reached Us), 2015
Chromogenic print, framed
Edition 3 of 3
40" x 32"
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Installation photograph (Let There Be Light)
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The Seen and the Visualized # 2 (The Eye Can't See Itself), 2017
Chromogenic print, framed
Edition 1 of 3
40" x 32"
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Moons (Carolyn), 2016
Analog chromogenic photogram on Fujiflex Lustre, unique
30" x 30"
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Planet Slice, 2016
Analogue chromogenic photogram on Fuji Lustre, unique
16" x 20"
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Venn Sunset over Dark Forest, 2016
Analog chromogenic photogram on Fujiflex, unique
12" x 22"
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Untitled III, 2017
Archival inkjet print on lustre paper, unique
50" x 40" (sold)
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Untitled IV, 2017
Archival inkjet print on lustre paper, unique
50" x 40" (sold)
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White Vessel (ceramic pin-hole camera) & Ghost Image, 2018
Clay, slip, tape
Camera 14 x 7 x 7 inches; Silver gelatin photograph, unique 5.5 x 7.75 inches
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aNARCHY pOT (ceramic pin-hole camera), 2018
Clay, slip, crayon, marker, pencil, newspaper
Camera 14.5 x 11 x 11 inches; Silver gelatin photograph, unique 9.5 x 7.5 inches
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Strictly fUNCTIONAL & Two Moose, 2018
Clay, slip, crayon, marker, oil paint, wax, stickers, jewels
Camera 7 x 10 x 6.5 inches; Silver gelatin photograph, unique 2.25 x 5 inches
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Eastman Kodak Bromesko (London), expiration date unknown, circa 1940's, 2010
8.5 x 6.5 inches x 3
Triptych of unique silver gelatin prints, framed
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Under Sun, 2016
8 mm transferred to digital video; edition of 5; 9 mins, 42 sec
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Untitled (Seventh Year), 2011
Enlarged and mounted photocopy, unique
96" x 63"
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Untitled, 2003
Archival inkjet print, framed
29" x 45"