Luisa Lambri, Photographs @Luhring Augustine

JTF (just the facts): A total of 14 black and white Laserchrome prints, framed in white and minimally displayed in the entry, main gallery, and one back room. The images are of three different sizes (29×25, 30×36, and 48×37) and are available in editions of 5. All of the negatives are from 2008. (Marginal installation shot at right.)

Comments/Context: Italian photographer Luisa Lambri makes architectural images in the buildings constructed by the masters of modernity, and instead of documenting the triumphant vision and bold details that we have seen so many times before, she interprets the spaces in more personal ways and finds introspective moments of meditative quiet.

This is perhaps the subtlest show of photography I have seen in quite a while. On one wall, a grid of six images taken in the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea in Galicia, Spain (built by renowned Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza) are displayed, spread widely on a large blank wall. At first glance, these images appear identical, and are vaguely reminiscent of stairwells photographed by Tina Modotti and Charles Sheeler. As you contemplate these images, minute variations in the light in the images present themselves as slight tonal gradations and color shifts, so small as to be nearly imperceptible. The other images in the exhibit are also grouped to highlight these ethereal permutations.

These solemn and quiet abstractions grew on me over time and I started to appreciate a bit more their tender intimacy. I came around to seeing these images as sensory exercises in light, less about realism and more about minimalism. If however you are wound tight and moving quickly when you see this show, you will have little patience for these delicacies and will likely leave mystified.

Collector’s POV: These images will, of course, appeal to the all white, open and airy, minimalist crowd. The images in the show are priced at $9000, $10000, and $12000 based on size. Lambri’s work has been virtually absent from the secondary markets for photography, so retail is likely your only avenue for acquiring her work in the short term.

Rating: * (one star) GOOD (rating system described here)

Luisa Lambri, Photographs
Through February 7

Luhring Augustine
531 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011

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