Verve Gallery of Photography is pleased to present a three-person exhibition with Verve gallery artists Mark Citret, Douglas Ethridge, and Dominic Rouse. The public reception is held on Friday, March 19 from 5-7pm. The exhibition is on view through Friday, May 8, 2010. There will be a Gallery Talk with Mark Citret and Douglas Ethridge at Verve Gallery on Saturday, March 20 from 2-4pm.
Mark Citret will be exhibiting a retrospective of his eclectic mix of genres in three mediums including gelatin silver prints, gelatin silver on vellum paper, and platinum palladium prints.
Most of Citret's work is not specific to any locale or subject matter. Mark Citret fits his lifetime’s work into the genre of landscape photography, but in a rather non-traditional use of the word “landscape”. Mark states in his essay, Architectural Geology, “A landscape is to human experience what a stage set is to a play.”
“In this spirit, I consider myself to be a landscape photographer, and all of the photographs in this exhibit to be landscape photographs. One might question how a fork, knife, and spoon on a paper napkin on a café table might be a landscape in the same sense as a mountain lake or even a construction site. But for me they are all parts of the fascinating visual backdrop to our lives. Regardless of their physical scale or their origins, I find them all to be equally demanding of attention, and all equally capable of imparting meaning.”
The silver prints in this show are of two types—prints made on conventional darkroom gelatin silver paper and selenium toned, and those designated as “vellum” prints. The “vellum” prints are made on an obscure and long unavailable paper that Eastman Kodak once produced, which is very lightweight with a vellum-like surface. They are toned in both selenium and sepia to create their particular color and tonality. The prints from the last two years—work in which the artist has been shooting digitally - are platinum palladium prints. Citret appreciates the alchemy of the darkroom and the allure of the “handmade” print. By shooting digitally, an inter-negative can be made on the computer, yet the printing is still a hands on, wet process. This has created a nice balance for the artist to create platinum palladium prints in a new technological age.
Citret has worked on many photographic projects over the course of his career, and continues to do so. From 1973 to 1975 he lived in and photographed Halcott Center, a farming valley in New York's Catskill Mountains. In the mid to late 1980s he produced a large body of work with the working title of "Unnatural Wonders", which is his personal survey of architecture in the national parks. He spent four years, 1990 to 1993, photographing "Coastside Plant", a massive construction site in the southwest corner of San Francisco. Since he moved to his current home in Daly City, California in 1986, he has been photographing the ever changing play of ocean and sky from the cliff behind his house. Currently he is in the midst of a multi-year commission from the University of California San Francisco, photographing the construction of their 43 acre Mission Bay life-sciences campus. He has taught photography at the University of California Berkeley Extension since 1982 and the University of California Santa Cruz Extension since 1988, and for organizations such as the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Ansel Adams Gallery, and Santa Fe Workshops. His work is represented by prominant photography galleries in the United States, and is in many museum, corporate, and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, among others. A monograph of his photographs, Along the Way, was published by Custom & Limited Editions, San Francisco, in 1999.
Douglas Ethridge will be exhibiting platinum palladium prints from his most recent series, “Selective Memories.” A body of work that began over a year ago, this series evokes nostalgia and memorywith thridge’s signature selective-focus style.
“Selective Memories”, reminds us that our memories are vague, often imperfect or embellished. As we grow older, our memories get selective, we remember glimpses into our past, and often times because they are so vague, we do not remember them as they truly were. Instead of remembering that we were running with our siblings on the beach in a certain locale, we remember the smell and taste of the ocean air, the sandcastles we made. In the same way a song or a smell can immediately bring nostalgia for the past, these images invoke a nostalgic memory for the viewer, in a way that is universal. It may have been the artist’s memory, but we can all relate our own story. Shot along the Pacific Coast from Baja to LaPush in Washington State, these images were taken with a 1954 Rolleiflex.
“Images, songs and smells can trigger a flood of memories that are unique to each person. As a child, my family would often go on camping trips, usually to the forest or at the ocean. My father was fascinated with the process of discovery – from him I learned that every moment had potential, every change of scenery could be interesting, every stop along the way was worthy of at least a moment’s notice. In this body of work, I set out to rediscover the wonders of the time-honored road trip by driving solo up and down the Pacific Coast with the simplest of cameras, recording those random connections to the most impressionistic portion of our minds, called memory.”- Douglas Ethridge
Douglas Ethridge is a fine art photographer, writer and video producer. Ethridge grew up in the Northwest, attended Reed College and the University of Washington in Seattle. His first creative efforts were centered around music where he learned classical and jazz. About the time he gave up his focus on music, he picked up a camera and after a trip to Kyoto, he found himself teaching photography and working for a small production company as a photographer and writer. After a few years, he started his own production company that became very successful. By 2000, he was ready to go back to making photography that was non-commercial.
Douglas has shown extensively in the U.S. including Farmani Gallery, Fotofest, Galerie BMG, Watermark allery, Wallspace Gallery and he is also represented with Kevin Longino and Verve Gallery. He recently exhibited "Selective Memories" at the Lishui International Photo Festival in China. His work has been published in numerous magazines including Camera Arts, B&W Magazine and COLOR Magazine. He and his wife live on the shores of Hood Canal in Washington State.
Dominic Rouse will be exhibiting gelatin silver prints from his traveling exhibition, “Haunted by a Painter’s Ghost.” For Rouse, digital technology is the appropriate tool to merge reality-based hotography with the imaginative freedom of painting. His prints are not only challenging and alluring but are also impeccably crafted objects of beauty providing seamless transitions between the world of ontemporary digital art and the timeless qualities of large format black & white photography.
In an essay by Gary Hesse from Light Work, he points out correctly that Rouse is influenced by the paintings of Surrealist artists Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Rene Magritte as well as the writings of Franz Kafka and Philip Larkin. He goes on to say that the artist is emulating the unconventional situations, settings and tableaux by these Surrealists which mirrored their own lifestyles that challenged art, politics, religion and all societal conventions. And while painters were free to paint whatever was in their imagination, photographers at the time were limited by their medium. Rouse is using state-of-the-art digital imaging tools to make his own Surrealist aesthetic using many of the same elements the early Surrealists used; religious iconography, architectural details from the Gothic period, as well as altered nude figures.
The images are “attempts to convey anger, heartache, confusion and hatred and their antidotes: obsession and desire - the highest forms of which, despite the prison of our existence, somehow manage to prove our almost-instinct almost true: What will survive of us is love." – Dominic Rouse
Dominic was born in England in 1959 and started his career as a press photographer at the age of sixteen working for local and national newspapers. Finding himself constrained by the technical limitations of photojournalism he returned to college in 1982 to study commercial and advertising photography and developed an interest in multiple exposure techniques using large format cameras. After a brief spell assisting advertising photographers in London he opened his own studio in 1986.
Dominic's work has been exhibited internationally including Buenos Aires, London and throughout the U.S. He has received numerous awards such as the Ultimate Eye Foundation grant in 2002 and again in 2006 as well as the 'Special Photographer' category in the first International Photography Awards (Photography's Oscars) in 2003. He has been published in Lenswork, The British Journal ofPhotography, Black and White Magazine, FotoRomania and Art Review among many others. Rouse currently resides in Thailand.
(Images: Douglas Ethridge, Cabo San Lucas; Mark Citret, Empty Room, gelatin silver print, 1992; Douglas Ethridge, Harris Beach #2, platinum palladium print; Dominic Rouse, The comfort of the last to leave, gelatin silver print; Copyright of the artists and Verve Gallery of Photography)