Review: Photographers Gallery – Perspective on Collage

Photographers; Laura Letinsky, Geraldo de Barros curated by Isobel Whitelegg.

It it has been a while since I put my head round the corner of this gallery and I was pleased to have done so. The focus of the exhibition came across clearly as ‘collage’ without necessitating the reading of the title of the exhibition. It presents the work of photography in a particular manner. I am quite keen on collage in all its forms but it is not something that is easy to do well.

Geraldo de Barros a Brazilian was involved in art and design commercially; Used the camera in two short periods of experimentation although he was not a photographer but painted. He treated the photograph very much like collage cutting, scrapping, scratching and over painting the negatives abstracting elements. He came to Europe on winning a scholarship and was influenced by the abstractionists of concrete art. There is strong graphic element to his photography its role closely connected to architectural structures fragmented and abstracted to simple elements.

Laura Letinsky is a photographer particularly looking at still life influenced by 17th century renaissance painting. Recent exploring paper cutouts from magazines in the form of still life collaged and then photographed. She is interested in representing elements of space and time both positive and negative. The photographs of the paper collage seemed very sensual, and minimal. The images came across as flat and seemed quite far away from the idea of still life with a connection to it. It was not fine art painting as one would expect but they were different in there own way and not all the paper cut was exact or precise which gave it a kind of roughness. The whiteness of the paper did seem to take over more in places than others with a kind of graphic sense.

I can see this show being a lot more than what it is as the potential to expand the show to something a lot greater is achievable. It has the potential to really explore collage a lot further. I found my self wanting more than the sum of the parts and the show needs another ten floors of different artists exploring the same area. Despite this it was great.

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