The Celestial Sea
On January 12, 2013 Sonnabend Gallery will open “Italian Pictures,” an exhibition of photographs by Lawrence Beck.
These twelve large scale, color photographs follow a continuum that originated with Beck’s “Botanical Gardens” series from the late 1990s and his “Waterfalls” from 2005-7 into the “Italian Garden” series which began in 2008. “Italian Pictures” includes new subject matter, specifically Roman Aqueducts, which Beck approaches as a form of intimate portraiture. These iconic architectural relics have an autobiographical significance for the artist due to his yearly visits to Italy since early childhood. The new pictures represent personal views of familar Italian objects, recollections of a period during Beck’s childhood when his imaginative relationship with Italian architecture began to develop. The aqueducts are photographed in Rome in the semi-abandoned “Parco degli Acquedotti” where apparently little municipal attention is given to the overall condition or presentation of these ancient ruins.
Also on view will be a new series of garden photographs, contrasting the wild disorganization of nature with the cultivated garden. The patinated ruins, bridges, statuary, and fountains in these works are photographed in early morning and late afternoon light that provides both atmospheric softness and chiaroscuro definition. The motif is the same as that used by classical artists as a source of contemplation and inspiration, but here is used in a way that uniquely blurs the distinction between photography and painting.
The exhibition will continue through February 9.
Please contact the gallery for further information.