Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Alison Rossiter

LAMENT

April 25 - May 23, 2009


The gallery is pleased to present “Lament”, an exhibition of new work by Alison Rossiter that pays homage to the disappearing materials of analogue photography.

Dupont Defender Varigram R, expires December 1952, processed 2009

In the project, “Lament”, Rossiter creates photographic objects that rely on the intrinsic qualities of expired papers. She collects expired photo papers from throughout the 20th Century and processes them to reveal the years of extemporaneous exposure, moisture, humidity, and physical disruptions that have created latent imagery. The remarkable images she produces are silver abstractions and illusions, which come from coaxing these silver gelatin papers to completion.

The artist writes, “Five years ago, I thought that I could no longer buy sheet film for a 5 x 7 camera. Fortunately, I was mistaken, but my momentary panic prompted a massive search for discontinued gelatin silver materials. Photography, as I know it, is disappearing.” This project would have been unimaginable just some two decades ago when graded gelatin silver papers of every variety were still widely available and the norm. Considering the digital advances in photography, the work speaks to the materials of the medium and makes one aware of the subtlety and variety of photographic surfaces that are now a part of our history.

Rossiter has been making photographs since 1970, and in the past decade has focused her work on the elemental components of the photographic process. Exploring the inherent characteristics of the medium, she works in the darkroom to create photograms of books, light drawings of horses and formal contact prints of sheet film.

Rossiter’s photographs can be found in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis; the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Centre for Creative Photography, Tucson; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California; the Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton; the Winnipeg Art gallery, Winnipeg; the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa; the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, among many others.

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