On View

paper movies1

The Joseloff Gallery at the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School presents Paper Movies, an exhibition of contemporary photobooks from around the globe, curated by the 2016 Georgette and Richard Koopman Distinguished Chairs in the Visual Arts at the Hartford Art School: Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar.

Exhibition Dates: January 19 through February 17, 2016
Public Reception: Thursday, January 28 from 5-7 p.m.

Lewis Baltz once described creative photography as “a narrow, deep area lying between the novel and film”. Exploring this rich chasm through the photobook, artists are composing new types of storytelling through the interplay of images, design and materials.

Paper Movies presents a selection of contemporary photobooks (1994-present) that exemplify the unique narrative possibilities of the book form. Working from groups of images—both created and appropriated—the books included in this exhibition feature a range of contemporary storytelling strategies. From re-contextualizing archival and found images to constructing “filmic haikus” from photographs of everyday life, photobooks naturally exist in the space “between a novel and a film” where the seemingly straightforward descriptive capacity of photographs can be manipulated and composed into more complex, nuanced narratives.

The works featured in Paper Movies invite the reader to travel inside the landscapes, communities, homes, minds, and dreams of the authors and their subjects. Through corridors that are both real and imagined, the reader is led on an immersive journey into known and unknown worlds, encouraging curiosity, empathy, and a better understanding of ourselves and the worlds around us.

Paper Movies includes work by more than 100 distinguished photographers including Mitch Epstein, Micheal Schmidt, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Rinko Kawauchi, and several graduates of the Hartford Art School Limited Residency MFA in Photography Program including Lucy Helton (MFA 2014), and Stefan Schein (MFA 2015).

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This exhibition and associated programming are made possible in part by the Georgette and Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair in the Visual Arts Endowment at the Hartford Art School, Inc.

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About Melissa Catanese

Photographer and bookseller Melissa Catanese has been editing the vast photography collection of Peter J. Cohen, a celebrated trove of more than 20,000 vernacular and found anonymous photographs from the early to mid-twentieth century. Gathered from flea markets, dealers and Ebay, these prints have been acquired, exhibited and included in a range of major museum publications. In organizing the archive into a series of thematic catalogues, she has pursued an alternate reading of the collection, drifting away from simple typology into something more personal, intuitive and openly poetic. Her most recent artist’s book, Dive Dark Dream Slow, is rooted in the mystery and delight of the “found” image and the “snapshot” aesthetic, but pushes beyond the nostalgic surface of these pictures and reimagines them as luminous transmissions of anxious sensuality. Through a series of abandoned visual clues, from the sepia-infused shadow of a little girl running along a beach to silhouettes of a group of distant figures pausing upon a steep and snowy hill, a dreamlike journey is evoked. Like an album of pop songs about a girl (or a civilization) hovering on the verge of transformation, the book cycles through overlapping themes and counter-themes–moon and ocean; violence and tenderness; innocence and experience; masks and nakedness–that sparkle with deep psychic longing and apocalyptic comedy.

Catanese is the founder of Spaces Corners, an artist-run photobook gallery and project space in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, established in 2011.  Along with showing her work internationally, Catanese has been guest lecturer at the Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati, OH, held a lecture and workshop at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA, and been included in the permanent collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art on Cleveland, OH, and the Museum of Modern Art Library in New York, NY.  Please visit her website melissacatanese.com

About Ed Panar

Photographer and designer Ed Panar’s work has been described as having a “tacit recognition that the roles of observer and observed are fluid and interchangeable”. (Neil Harris, TIME photo editor). With several books under his belt and numerous awards attributed to him, Panar prefers to travel inconspicuously (by foot or by bike) through the world, camera in hand.

Panar is co-founder of Spaces Corners, an artist-run photobook gallery and project space in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, established in 2011. Along with international gallery shows, he has been named in Tokyo’s Upcoming Photographers From Around the World, TIME’s Best of 2011, and received a Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts in 2007. Panar has a permanent collection in The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and was featured in the Midwest Photographers Project, MoCP in Chicago from 2005-2009. Please visit his website at edpanar.com

About the Koopman Distinguished Chair

The Georgette and Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair in the Visual Arts was established at the Hartford Art School in 1988 for the purpose of bringing in artists of international reputation as faculty of the art school. The chair is rotated among departments, with individuals invited to teach either a semester or academic year.

One of the few endowed chairs in the visual arts, it has become an important part of the Hartford Art School experience. Students have the opportunity to work alongside and learn directly from artists whose work is chronicled in contemporary art history.