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Silver Eye Center for Photography Presents Spectra: New Abstract Photography

Recent work by Christopher Bucklow, Ellen Carey, Jonathan Lewis, Mariah Robertson and Jason Salavon. Guest curator: Lisa Kurzner

PITTSBURGH, Pa – Silver Eye Center for Photography is pleased to announce Spectra: New Abstract Photography, an exhibition of recent work by five contemporary artists – Christopher Bucklow, Ellen Carey, Jonathan Lewis, Mariah Robertson and Jason Salavon – who each explore photographic color materials and abstraction from a variety of formal and conceptual perspectives. The exhibition will open on Tuesday, September 7 and will be on view in the Silver Eye galleries on Pittsburgh’s South Side through November 13, 2010. This exhibition is organized by Lisa Kurzner, an independent curator and photo historian based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Experimentation, factual materiality, consumer culture, and repetition fuel the work assembled in Spectra, as well as references to mid-19th century photography and to the radicalization of the medium in the 1920s. Ranging from artists of the original color generation in the 1980s to those working in the aftermath of postmodernism and the advent of digital image making, the selection underscores the rich history and lively contemporary dialogue about color and photographic abstraction in all its forms.

Included are works by three American photographers and two British photographers, each utilizing their own distinctive processes – from lab-based digital reproduction to cameraless photogram techniques – to construct their images. With some work coming out of the darkroom and other pieces from the computer, both process and outcome are intrinsic to the artists’ intentions. “Spectra brings together five photographers who work extensively in color, creating imagery produced by a wide variety of photographic tools and chemistry,” comments Lisa Kurzner, curator of the exhibition. “As a tangential subject in itself, color – its visceral, emotional and metaphorical place in current photography – is examined.”

Christopher Bucklow (British, b. 1957) studied art history at Leicester Polytechnic. Upon graduation in 1978, he worked as a curator of prints and drawings at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. After ten years of curatorial work, he moved to Italy and began making art in various media. His work is in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel; Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT; and Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA. He is represented by Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA and lives and works in Somerset, England.

Ellen Carey (American, b. 1952) received a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from State University of New York at Buffalo. She is currently Associate Professor of Photography at the Hartford Art School (University of Hartford). Her work has been the subject of over 40 one-person exhibitions in commercial galleries (Jayne H. Baum, Ricco/Maresa); alternative spaces (Real Art Ways, Hallwalls); and museums (Lyman Allyn, Wadsworth Atheneum MATRIX, New Britain New/Now, International Center for Photography) and included in several hundred nationally acclaimed group exhibitions (PS 1, New/Whitney/Mattatuck Museums). She is represented by Jayne H. Baum Gallery, New York, NY and lives and works in Hartford, CT.

Jonathan Lewis (British, b. 1970) was born and raised in London and studied art history at Cambridge University. He has exhibited at the Société Française de Photographie, Paris; Natural History National Museum, Lisbon, Portugal; Deutsche Bank, London; John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI; Photographic Resource Center at Boston University; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Center of Contemporary Arts, St Louis, MO; and Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA. He is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, NY and lives and works in London, England.

Mariah Robertson (American, b. 1975) received a BA in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA in sculpture from Yale University. She is currently featured in Greater New York 2010 at MoMA P.S.1 and Out of Focus: Photography Now at the Saatchi Gallery, London. She has also exhibited at Guild and Greyshkul, New York; Museum 52, New York; Mary Boone, New York; and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. She is represented by Museum 52, New York, NY and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Jason Salavon (American, b. 1970) earned his MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his BA from The University of Texas at Austin. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts and the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago. Salavon’s work has been shown in museums and galleries around the world, including the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Gaain Gallery, Seoul, Korea; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C; Art Cologne, Galerie Kusseneers, Cologne, Germany; List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL; Galerie Edward Mitterrand, Geneva, Switzerland; M-PROJECT, Paris, France; Art 33 Basel, Basel, Switzerland; and Art Miami 2001. He is represented by Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY and lives and works in Chicago, IL.


For the past 30 years, the Silver Eye Center for Photography has played a unique and valued role in the region’s cultural landscape and earned a national reputation as one of the country’s pre-eminent photography centers. Our mission is to advance understanding, appreciation and active engagement with photography as a vital form of creative expression and as an educative force in communicating the diverse values, histories and issues that shape and influence our lives.

Silver Eye Center for Photography is generously supported by the Allegheny Regional Asset District, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Fine Foundation, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Henry John Simonds Foundation, the Massey Charitable Trust and Anonymous.

silvereye center for photography
1015 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
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