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Hands! They are our first and most reliable tools for relating to the world around us, instrumental for counting, measuring and manipulating. These go-to tools and a trove of other creative ways to take measure of our surroundings are on view in “The Visual Metric”, a group show at the Griffin Museum of Photography’s large satellite gallery in the Lafayette City Center passageway at Downtown Crossing in Boston, through January 23rd, 2018. Take a detour from your shopping (or find the perfect gift, most are for sale and benefit the Griffin Museum) – a delightful photographic foray!
Far from depicting straight modes of measurement, Paula Tognarelli, Curator and Executive Director of the Griffin Museum, has used the concept of metrics as a jumping off point for unique ways of looking at how we relate to our environment. Her photographic selections range from the representational to abstract and from somber to humorous. Some lure in us with close textural detail while others soar out to topographic scale.
Such disparate imagery could lead to a lack of cohesiveness, but the exact opposite is true in this exhibit. Tognarelli’s photographic gathering has been installed in a way that draws many delightful associations in groupings along this lengthy gallery, making the whole even greater than the sum of its parts. As with the three photographs incorporating hands above, here are some other relationships that spark the imagination in “The Visual Metric”. Tom Lamb’s aerial image creates a powerful graphic, much like Marky Kauffmann’s fanciful, vibrant chemigram dress. Taken into view with Jane Szabo’s bodiless dress constructed from road maps, the trio’s scale, palette and subject matter prompt reflection on identity and location of self.
The works of Sara Silks, Randi Ganulin and Meg Birnbaum connect us to the earth and contemplate the concept of geologic time.
Photographs by Mary Daniel Hobson, Steve Gentile and Ralph Mercer combine corporeal, geologic and planetary elements to lead viewers into the spiritual realm.
A grouping of graphical B&W photographs by Doug Johnson, Frances Jakubek and DM Witman together draw visual parallels between the disparate subjects of water, heartbeats and mountain ranges.
Spheres appear in photographs from an amazing diversity of sources and in range of scales, inviting us to compare, contrast, ponder and enjoy the ubiquity of this most basic and pleasing geometric form.
The fifty photographs in this group exhibit form a narrative down the LCC passageway gallery that invites engaging associations of color, composition, subject and meaning. The forty-two artists included in the show are: Roger Archibald, Julie Anand and Damon Sauer, Rachel Barrett, Karen Bell, Meg Birnbaum, Joy Bush, Kim Campbell, Richard Alan Cohen, Charan Devereaux, Norm Diamond, Randi Ganulin, Karen Garrett de Luna, Steve Gentile, Mary Daniel Hobson, Carol Isaak, Andrew Janjigian, Frances Jakubek, Doug Johnson, Marky Kauffmann, Sant Khalsa, Tom Lamb, Susan Lapides, Ralph Mercer, Noritaka Minami, Adam Neese, Troy Paiva, Barry Rosenthal, Daryl-Ann Saunders, Nicolo Sertorio, Sara Silks, Jean Sousa, Jane Szabo, JP Terlizzi, Donna Tramontozzi, David Weinberg, Grace Weston, Julie Williams-Krishnan, Susan Wilson, DM Witman, Dianne Yudelson, and Charlyn Zlotnik.
An exhibition catalog for this show is available from the Griffin Museum . For more information about the exhibit, closing reception or show catalog, go to: http://griffinmuseum.org/show/the-visual-metric/
Feature Image: “Work Gloves, 2014” (Detail) by Barry Rosenthal (courtesy of the artist and Griffin Museum of Photography).