Artist: Morgan Fisher
Venue: Bortolami, New York
Exhibition Title: Negative Film Boxes
Date: September 10 – October 24, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Bortolami, New York
Bortolami Gallery is pleased to present “Negative Film Boxes,” an exhibition of new photographs by Morgan Fisher and his third one-person exhibition at the gallery.
The photographs in the exhibition are exact negatives of the photographs I exhibited at Bortolami in 2011. This simple technical transformation produces images whose identity seems unsettled. The film boxes, unlike many subjects seen as negatives, are instantly intelligible, almost as if they were positives. But the backgrounds, of course negatives too, unexpectedly read only as positives. This is because the backgrounds in the earlier photographs are 18% gray. This gray, a standard in photography, is exactly middle gray, so its negative is identical to its positive. Accordingly we read the gray of the backgrounds, in fact a negative, as the more familiar positive. But if the backgrounds are positives, then so are the boxes, an understanding made likely by their having the easy legibility of positives. And read as positives, the boxes are otherworldly. Adding to the images’ elusive identity, the boxes are almost without shadows. Shadows in a negative are a giveaway because they are light rather than dark, but we notice them only when they are conspicuous, and here they are not. These several factors result in images whose identity is seemingly divided and hence suspended, irresolvable.
– Morgan Fisher
Morgan Fisher was born in 1942 in Washington, D.C. He studied art history at Harvard College and film in Los Angeles. His early work was in film, and more recently he has made paintings, sculptures, and photographs. Recent one-person exhibitions at public institutions were at the Aspen Art Museum (2013); Generali Foundation, Vienna (2012); Raven Row, London, and Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2011); and Portikus, Frankfurt (2009). He lives and works in Los Angeles.