I went to the "Delugians" opening to see the work and catch up with Bryce Lankard, one of the photographers and the show's curator. Along with Jennifer Shaw, David Halliday and printmaker Kyle Bravo, Bryce has put together a show at Solomon Ats Gallery of work influenced by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The collection of art in "Delugians" focuses on a different aspect of the aftermath, how the emotional, social, and psychological effects of this catastrophe manifest themselves in the work of 4 lens-based artists.
Bryce Lankard's work (like the one above), "Blink of an Eye" is about memory, loss and emptiness. There are almost no people in his photographs, just the remnants of another time. The work is infused with emotion and a sense of what was and is no more.
David Halliday is a formalist, and his portraits of Common Ground volunteers transmits a sadness and exhaustion that radiates straight at you. His subjects stare at you not in defiance, but with resignation and weariness, with sagging shoulders. The prints are beautiful sepia-toned silver gelatin, and it felt as if I could talk with each person directly.
Kyle Bravo is a printmaker, but in this show he used photographs as the basis of his fascinating work. "Obituary Conglomerations" over prints faces of people who died in the floods in black on white paper. The layering of faces seems to mirror the confusion over real body counts.
In "House Conglomerations" Bravo takes images of destroyed houses and twists them on top of themselves, like a Mobius strip of destruction. Can they ever be unraveled?
Jennifer Shaw's "Hurricane Story" is told with with a toys and a toy camera, her first-person narrative of her Katrina experience. The images are indistinct and dreamy, as if unreal, yet they are making sense of a real nightmare that included giving birth to her son in the middle of the night after leaving their home to escape the hurricane.
"At 3:47 a boy was born."
"Send in the Guard."
I urge everyone to do see this exhibit which will be there for a month. The space is beautiful, and the work deep and contemplative. It's a treat to see how artists deal with catastrophe, working through their own emotions and making something lasting out of a nightmare. That's something that should resonate with all New Yorkers. And it's definitely worth your time and attention.
Solomon Arts Gallery
83 Leonard St. 4th floor