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"The Edge of Vision"
The Hoffman Gallery at Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Ore.
by Eva Lake


Penelope Umbrico, "Suns (from sunsets from Flickr)," 2006-ongoing.

Continuing through March 18, 2012
"The Edge of Vision" is a breathtaking collection of contemporary photography, curated by Lyle Rexer, that investigates light, form and abstraction.  Showcasing the work of nineteen international photographers, the exhibition spans from installation to video to montage, utilizing new technologies along with methods as old as the photogram. As an abstract medium, photography here is also combined with painting, drawing and sculpture.

The first piece we encounter is a warm digital photomontage by Penelope Umbrico called "Suns (from sunsets from Flickr)." The title reflects the number of hits the artist found while searching "sunset" on Flickr on any given day. While the work is derived from the coolness of the Internet, it radiates the heat of individuality.
 
Silvio Wolf celebrates film by utilizing the ends of a roll as the negatives became exposed to light. The results are manifested in large plexi prints which riff between horizons in nature and abstraction. Wolf considers these works in their entirety as installation. The relationship and physicality of the light, form, space and viewer constantly change and renegotiate the presence of the work.
 
Bill Armstrong's "Mandala #450" positively glows in juicy color. It is culled from his ongoing "Infinity" series in which the artist creates what he calls 'extreme blur.' Tucked in a back gallery, it functions as the reigning icon for this show. "The Edge of Vision" was initiated at the Aperture Foundation and has traveled across the country. There is a fine catalogue available, authored by Rexer, which details the beginnings of abstraction in photography via the Photo Secessionists through Modernism and onwards.

Oregon College of Art & Craft, Hoffman Gallery

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