Photography (Greek "drawing with light" from photos = light, and graphis = stylus, paintbrush or graphê = representation by means of lines, drawing)
There's a fabulous show at Tracey Williams, Ltd Gallery through December 23rd. The artist is Ernst Caramelle. In the ground floor gallery space are works that, while not made with a camera or with photo paper, are definitely photographic in the sense of the Greek roots of the word. Mr. Caramelle leaves colored paper out and exposed to the sun for years at a time. I assume he uses a variety of shapes and stencils to achieve the geometries and spatial effects we see in the work. They are photograms is some very basic way without using paper that has a layer of photosensitive chemical salts on the surface. The work brought to mind a combination of 1830's printing out prints that used sunlight to limn leaves and bugs with the subtleties of Morandi still lifes with their amazing use of liminal color. I was prepped to expect good things by a number of positive reviews, but the work still surprised me in its complexity and beauty. Isn't it amazing what complexity and simple loveliness can still be wrought with the most basic of materials. Don't miss this.
TRACY WILLIAMS, Ltd.
313 West 4 Street