Louviere & Vanessa, Thomas Kellner, Angie Brockey
September 1 - November 26, 2016
Verve Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
„His works confirm in detail their realistic connection to the outside world and negate them as soon as the eye is directed to the whole ensemble.“ Kneppe, J., Kontakt, Kellner, Thomas, 2014, Seltmann+Söhne, Berlin/Siegen, page 39
Verve Gallery presents
LOUVIERE + VANESSA
with Guest Artist
VERVE Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will host fine art photography exhibitions with new VERVE Gallery Artists Louviere + Vanessa along with Thomas Kellner and guest artist Angie Brockey. The exhibitions will take place Friday, September 2 – Saturday, November 26, 2016. The opening events will take place the weekend of October 7, 2016.
Friday, October 7, 5:00–7:00 p.m.: Public opening reception at VERVE Gallery.
Saturday, October 8, 2016, 2:00 p.m.: Gallery talk at VERVE Gallery with all artists.
The exhibition is on view through November 26, 2016
LOUVIERE + VANESSA
Husband-and-wife team Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown, professionally known in the art world as Louviere + Vanessa, make their home and art in New Orleans. Their work effectively combines the mediums and nuances of film, photography, painting and printmaking. They utilize Holga cameras, scanners, 8 mm film, destroyed negatives, wax and blood.
Louviere + Vanessa have a long fascination with themes of duality and paradox: beauty as horror, creation as destruction, and the personal as universal. Craft and concept are the devices they use to explore the gray zone within those themes. Their tableaux vivant series, Slumberland, began in 2003. It is a collection of separate narratives existing as dialogue between the couple. In 2005, they started on their Creature series, a singular story told through many faces and, as such, the opposite of the Slumberland series.
Richard McCabe, curator of photography at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, describes Louviere + Vanessa's art as follows:
The photography and films of Louviere + Vanessa explore themes of duality and paradox, creation and destruction, horror and beauty. Their work is experimental, blending digital and traditional photography, resin and gold leaf, blood and wax. Through this controlled chaos their work is formed. By deconstructing the photographic image they are able to then reconstruct a new proto-photograph, layer by layer.
Louviere + Vanessa’s work is on the one hand very modern and contemporary, containing the dreamlike qualities of the surrealism and the Photo Secession movements within a visual narrative that alludes to Southern Gothic literature. Their artwork shares a visual aesthetic and conceptual link to works of Hans Bellmer, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Clarence John Laughlin and Joel Peter Witkin.
Their resume spans more than a decade of credits for their innovative photography, film and book-design work. They experiment in moving pictures and have created the first movie shot with a plastic Holga camera. Thereafter, they shot the animation sequence for Rosanne Cash’s short film, Mariners and Musicians, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006. Their work was included in the Australian Photography Biennale. Their first museum exhibition was for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in October 2012, and it was followed by a solo show at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida.
Since they began professionally showing in 2004, Louviere + Vanessa have been in over 50 exhibits and film festivals in America and abroad. They are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Photomedia Center, Mercyhurst College’s Cummings Gallery, Eire, Pennsylvania; the New Orleans Museum of Art; and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art; as well as the film archive for Globians International Film in Potsdam, Germany, and Microcinema in San Francisco. Six images from their Creature series were acquired by the George Eastman House for an exhibit that traveled the world throughout 2010.
Jeff Louviere is from New Orleans, Vanessa Brown from New York, and they met each other halfway between the two, in Savannah. Jeff graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Vanessa began photographing at age 12 and won a Kodak International Award of Excellence in Photography when she was 17. She photographed throughout Italy and Greece before graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in photography.
German photo artist Thomas Kellner is known for his photographs of seemingly dancing architectural icons, gyrating structural landmarks from around the world. Even though his photographs are of popular structures, most of which have been mass produced, his artwork is unique.
Thomas describes his new artistic method as “visual analytical synthesis.” His synthesis is not one photo shot but rather several thoughtfully planned shots in order to create a picture of an architectural landmark out of contact sheets. He usually keeps the horizontal and vertical lines at their ground level horizontal and vertical, whereas in the upper levels he has photographed in such as way that the horizontal lines undulate and the verticals tilt.
Though Thomas’s work is often referred to as Cubism, considering that his creative process includes a construction, the results resemble a deconstruction. His works imitate the wandering look of the eye, showing us segments of the total that come together as one image. Therefore, his photographs do not deconstruct architecture, but instead reconstruct our view of it.
At the same time, Thomas’s imagery also reflects the flood of pictures we live in nowadays and furthermore questions decaying cultural values that renounce these iconic landmarks. Alan Artner of the Chicago Tribune marvels, “Who would have thought that so much wonder could still be created with straight photographs in a time given to digital manipulation?
Thomas’s body of work is entitled Black & White. In this exhibition, he recalls his beginnings as an artist and his roots in black-and-white photography using the analog gelatin silver process. Those who have followed his photography over the years know that most of his works have been published and exhibited in color. However, there was a time when Thomas worked in black and white. Even though most of his black-and-white works were never published, they do reflect his early career when he worked mostly in silver gelatin. He developed his unique visual language of multiple perspectives and the deconstructive approach in a sequence mounted on a contact sheet of a 35 mm roll of film.
Starting with his first sketches of the Eiffel Tower as homage to Robert Delaunay and Orphism (the French offshoot of Cubism) in Paris in 1997, Thomas totally turned his attention from landscape to architecture and the growing complexity of his compositions. He creates ageless classic images in his newly invented visual language. In his early black-and-white images, the observer can see how he focuses on the structure itself. The balance between the object and its visual form are at the center of his creations. The exhibition shows iconic black-and-white images from San Francisco, New York City and Chicago for the first time.
Thomas Kellner was born in Bonn, Germany, in 1966. He studied art, sociology, politics and economy at the University of Siegen, Germany. In 1997, Kodak Germany awarded him the Young Professionals Prize. The award moved him to continue his work as a visual artist. In 2003 and 2004, he served as a visiting professor of fine art photography at the University of Giessen. In 2003, Thomas was invited to membership in the German Association for Photography (DGPh). In 2009, he received the Fine Art Award from the district of Düren in Germany and the Award of Excellence from Pingyao, China. Thomas regularly lectures on the visual arts around the world, including venues such as Brasilia, Mexico City, Houston and Beijing.
A catalog published by Seltmann+söhne, Lüdenscheid and Berlin with an essay by Harris Fogel will accompany the exhibition.
Angie Brockey’s fine art photography is crafted using a nearly 200-year-old process, wet plate collodion. Each piece is carefully processed and developed in her darkroom. Some of her smaller images make their way into intricately crafted jewelry.
Angie describes her work: My creative journey started as far back as I can remember. One of my very first memories is of soft light passing through yellow cloth over my eyes. I can feel the warmth of the sun scattering its way through the material to touch my face. I don’t know if this memory comes to me from this specific day, but I do know the experience was an important one. I think it represents a large part of who I am and what I want to express through my work. Beauty and mystery are what I crave, what I pay attention to, and what inspires a desire to keep living life and creating.
I think in whatever medium I’ve used—whether it’s been in writing music, drawing, painting, metalsmith work, collodion image jewelry, or analog photography—beauty and the deeper parts of beauty, under the surface of life, are what I am drawn to explore. There is always more to be discovered, and the closer I look, the more I want to peel back the layers underneath. For the last three years, the process of wet plate collodion photography has provided the avenue to satisfy my craving for something less peripheral, something that honors a slower enrichment of life. I haven’t reached the end of the mystery with it yet, and I love the journey.
Whether the image stands on its own or is part of an enchanting piece of wearable art, every creation of Angie’s represents a poetic journey for the viewer. Her imagery is timelessly beautiful and incredibly evocative, eliciting a sense of mystery and wonder.
Angie grew up in the Midwest. At a young age she displayed a noteworthy talent for music and art, focusing in the beginning on writing music and performing. Recently she has been honored to have her fine art photography in many galleries, publications and online e-zines. In 2015 her work was included in the book Das Kolludim by Peter Michels.
VERVE Gallery of Photography
Jennifer Schlesinger, Director
Thank you to Verve Gallery's director Jennifer Schlesinger for selcting my work for this wonderful exhibition in Santa Fe New Mexico. And thank you to the owners of Verve Gallery, Wilson and John Scanlan, for giving such a great exposure to my work in Santa Fe and the photographic community in the US.