Interiors @Flowers

JTF (just the facts): A group show containing a total of 22 color photographs from 11 different photographers/artists, variously framed and matted, and hung against white walls in the three room gallery space.

The following photographers/artists have been included in the show, with the number of prints on view and image details as background:

  • Tina Barney: 2 chromogenic color prints, 1997, 2004, each sized 48×60, in editions of 10
  • Julie Blackmon: 2 archival pigment prints, 2010, 2013, sized roughly 36×36 and 36×50, in editions of 10
  • Edmund Clark: 2 chromogenic color prints, 2009, 2010, each sized roughly 60×48 or reverse, in editions of 4
  • Jacqueline Hassink: 2 c-prints, 2005, 2006, each sized 17×43, in editions of 7
  • Nadav Kander: 2 chromogenic color prints, 2000, 2005, each sized 30×40, in editions of 5
  • Jason Larkin: 2 archival pigment prints, 2009, each sized 30×30, in editions of 5
  • Lori Nix: 2 archival pigment prints, 2008, 2012, each sized 40×50, in editions of 15
  • Robert Polidori: 2 Fujicolor crystal archive prints, 2006, 2007, sized 60×50 or 40×54, in editions of 10
  • Hrvoje Slovenc: 2 archival pigment prints, 2010, each sized 30×65, in editions of 3
  • Richard Tuschman: 2 archival pigment prints, 2013, sized 30×24 or 24×35, in editions of 6
  • Shen Wei: 2 chromogenic color prints, 2008, each sized 24×30, in editions of 3

(Installation shots below.)

Comments/Context: As titles go, Interiors seems about as broad and dull as they come, an umbrella term so open that it ceases to have much meaning at all. But don’t let that apparent failing discourage your visit to this otherwise surprisingly rich compendium of photographic rooms; the numbly generic moniker actually makes more sense once you begin to see how the show functions.

This exhibit is organized in “two of each” fashion, a pair of prints from each photographer allowing the viewer to see the patterns and stylistic choices in any given project with a little more fullness. After circling the gallery, the images became a swirling, overlapped mass of interlocked visual ideas: room as stage set, room as a lonely place, room as a powerful place, room as textures, room as destruction, room as confined space, room as a place we become ourselves, room as the embodiment of family, and so on and so on. Each theme you might offer has several logical supporting examples on the walls, every one a slightly different combination of component images. In this way, the show is like a matrix of possible rooms and ideas about rooms, allowing (and encouraging) lots of slicing and dicing.

So let’s play the game: room as stage set. Right off the bat you get Lori Nix’ and Richard Tuschman’s dioramas, Robert Polidori’s trompe l’oeil bookcase/door, and Nadav Kander’s love hotel with a projected Caribbean view. A little more thought and Jacqueline Hassink’s elaborately controlled Arab boardrooms and dining rooms come into play, as do Hrvoje Slovenc’s subtle S&M interiors. Jason Larkin’s Egyptian museum cases could fit the bill, as could Tina Barney’s upper class European rooms. And Julie Blackmon’s digitally constructed domestic scenes are nothing if not carefully staged.

Try it again: room as a lonely place. Start again with Nadav Kander’s empty hotel rooms, but this time we’re interested in their emotional tenor not the staging. Edmund Clark’s green steel isolation unit in Guantanamo is obviously lonely, but his plastic children’s slide in a non-descript detainee bedroom is even more so. Shen Wei’s shadowed images of his grandmother’s apartment in Shanghai have a quiet melancholy air, as do Richard Tuschman’s chilly Hopper-esque bedrooms with their thin depth of field. We can also bring in the heaviness of Robert Polidori’s destroyed New Orleans kitchen, the wrath of Hurricane Katrina seen in the overturned appliances and the mud line near the ceiling. With a bit of a stretch, Jason Larkin, Tina Barney, and Lori Nix can be brought back into the conversation as well.

With each successive theme, these photographs of interiors reveal different facets of themselves, offering alternate readings and nuanced interpretations. Run through half a dozen connecting ideas in your head, ticking off different collections and subsets of images, and suddenly these photographs together take on a tactile fullness, each contributing to a larger descriptive whole. It’s a reminder of how a well integrated thematic summer group show is supposed to operate; Interiors is just such a show, hiding underneath its forgettably bland title.

Collector’s POV: The works in this show are priced as follows, by photographer/artist:

  • Tina Barney: $35000 and $36000
  • Julie Blackmon: $5500 each
  • Edmund Clark: $7000 each
  • Jacqueline Hassink: €6500 and €6900
  • Nadav Kander: $7000 each
  • Jason Larkin: $2500 each
  • Lori Nix: $6000 and $7000
  • Robert Polidori: $22000 and $28000
  • Hrvoje Slovenc: $8700 each
  • Richard Tuschman: $2800 and $3300
  • Shen Wei: $3500 each

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Read more about: Edmund Clark, Hrvoje Slovenc, Jacqueline Hassink, Jason Larkin, Julie Blackmon, Lori Nix, Nadav Kander, Richard Tuschman, Robert Polidori, Shen Wei, Tina Barney, Flowers Gallery

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