Stephen Aldrich
The Time Traveler
Images | Biography

Yamamoto Masao

Images | Biography

Stephen Aldrich and Barret Oliver
Images | Biographies

January 15 -- February 19, 2011

Reception: January 15, 2011 5-7PM

Japanese photographer Yamamoto Masao regards his images as the equivalent of a “haiku moment,” when meaning or insight is suddenly made clear. He titled his current body of work, “Kawa,” which is the Japanese word for “river” or “flow” to suggest both a connection as well as a divide between the present and past. His spare and meditative photos depict natural subjects such as a freshly split log, mushrooms growing on heavy rope or crystalline dewdrops on the wings of a dragonfly. Writing for the LA TIMES, Leah Ollman suggested that each photo is “a moment of grace” and that Yamamoto’s work affords one the opportunity “to experience stillness and contemplate beauty, eternity.”

Concurrently the gallery will present an exhibition of new work by Stephen Aldrich. A pivotal moment in Aldrich’s career occurred in 1968 when he met the influential photographer, Frederick Sommer. A musician and art student at Prescott College in Arizona, Aldrich was soon enlisted by Sommer to interpret his innovative, abstract musical scores, thus beginning a long relationship of mentoring and collaboration. In the last decade of Sommer’s life, Aldrich worked with him on an extraordinary group of collages, while at the same time, developing his own unique approach to the medium. Working with fine 19th century engravings as his source material, Aldrich cuts imagery with mind-boggling precision and complexity. There is an obsessive quality to the work in its dense overlappings, rhythms, repetitions and patterns that may, in part, be attributable to his background in music.

Adjacent to the Aldrich works will be a small exhibition introducing the collaborative photo collages of Stephen Aldrich and Barret Oliver titled "Photo-Synthesis". The two have been working together since 2007 as a result of their shared interest in 19th century imagery and photographic techniques. The collaboration begins with albumen prints created by Oliver, which are then sliced and reassembled by Aldrich. Oliver describes their work as an exploration into “how the history of images is understood by the contemporary eye and how the fragmentary nature of photographs affects the way we see.”