Beyond the Lens

Johnna Arnold, Marco Breuer, Lothar Osterburg
January 15 – March 31, 2012

Traywick Contemporary is pleased to announce Beyond the Lens, an exhibition featuring the work of Johnna Arnold, Marco Breuer and Lothar Osterburg. The show challenges the traditional limitations of photography, going “beyond the lens” to explore the diverse possibilities of the medium. Beyond the Lens marks the start of Traywick Contemporary’s 15th anniversary year, presenting a group of artists representative of the gallery’s history with a survey of their work from both past and present.

Johnna Arnold is interested in questioning or distorting what is seen as much as documenting it. Her earlier photographs present Bay Area freeways as a sort of alternate reality, the blurred images abstracting details and filtering out the chaos of reality. In her latest series of photographs she inserts herself into urban landscapes, juxtaposing the fragility of the human being and the harshness of this utilitarian topography.

Working without a camera, Marco Breuer’s work transforms photography into a physical act. Breuer subjects photosensitive papers to a continually evolving range of controlled physical manipulations, from scratching to chemical applications — even firing at the paper with a shotgun. The results are haunting abstractions that penetrate the surface of the work, extracting images of visual intensity from the materials themselves.

Lothar Osterburg explores the freedom discovered in travels to unknown lands through scenes staged in the artist’s studio. His work, based on models that he creates and then photographs, speaks to lost time and far away places. A master of photogravure, Osterburg evokes vintage photography by combining soft focus, subtle variations of blacks and grays, and residual marks of the printmaking process to create images that are suspended between the real and the imaginary.

Johnna Arnold: Ikea Parking Lot/I-80, Emeryville, 2011
C-print; Edition of 5; 32 x 40″

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