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By Suzanne Révy, Associate Editor
There is a serene and calming feel to Alyssa Minahan’s large-scale photograms of soft pinks, yellows and purples currently on view in her solo exhibit Trace. The show is punctuated with smaller black prints and two diptychs that quietly reveal palimpsest-like images of nature and children at the Garner Center Gallery in the New England School of Photography though March 16th 2018. There will be a free, public Opening Reception with the artist TONIGHT, Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:00pm!
The ephemeral colors she uses are familiar to anyone who has spent time in a darkroom. Inevitably, there are neglected and unfixed sheets of gelatin silver paper, which change and darken in color over time after being exposed to light. Minahan uses this to her advantage by experimenting with the paper to manipulate the colors with different durations and sources of light. She then layers paper and sometimes negatives to scan and generate inkjet prints. By fixing these cameraless shifts of color, she offers viewers a contemporary and contemplative view of the delicate and transient nature of photographs crafted in trays of chemistry.
In Veil III, the nighttime atmosphere of leaves and clouds reveal themselves through the deep blacks that recall a strongly overexposed negative. Smaller deep black prints on each wall of the exhibit work as an anchor to the pastels of the larger photograms; they imbue the installation with a gentle cadence.
Among the rhythm of the show are two diptychs, revealing clouds in one, and the striking profile of a boy in the other. Positive/Negative (Aidan) portrays Minahan’s son within the particular palette of an unfixed darkroom print on the left. It is juxtaposed with a negative image of the boy’s ear and soft tufts of hair on the right. His portrait is seemingly submerged in the print, barely present. Embracing the alchemy of analog photography as a metaphor, Minahan is responding to the temporal nature of time as it advances through fleeting moments of day and night from childhood through adolescence.
There will be a free, public Opening Reception with the artist TONIGHT, Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 from 5:30 – 7:00pm!
For directions, hours and more information about the opening and exhibit, go to: https://www.nesop.edu/events/the-garner-center/
To see more work by Alyssa Minahan, go to: http://www.alyssaminahan.com
Feature Image: Installation view of Alyssa Minahan’s solo exhibit Trace at the NESOP Garner Center in Waltham, MA (photo: Suzanne Révy).