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Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Catalog | June 2016


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

June 2016 Barbara Rosenthal: 50 Surreal Photos from the Novel “Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Curated by Joseph A. W. Quintela Galerie Protégé New York


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Smith&Jones Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition of current surreal analog photographs by artist Barbara Rosenthal from June 9th to July 2nd, 2016 at Galerie Protégé in New York’s Chelsea art district. The first complete American showing of this series comes on the heels of a lauded Berlin exhibition in February and in conjunction with the release of the definitive edition of the artist’s first novel, “Wish for Amnesia,” by Deadly Chaps Press (New York). Together, the exhibition and book launch represent the culmination of a 36-year work-in-progress finally brought to the public eye through 2 years of tireless effort by Rosenthal and publisher/curator, Joseph. A. W. Quintela. The 3-week exhibition will feature all 50 of the Surreal Photographs reproduced in the latest 6 draft editions of the novel, as well as a display of all 12 of these proto-publications. These draft editions, themselves, are a compelling collection of writerly process seen here now as artistic artifact. With ever-increasing attention paid to Rosenthal’s essential contributions to the history of Performance, Video, and New Media Art, the exhibition pays homage to an equally significant, if sometimes overlooked, facet of her artistry: her work in Photography. As a fully-integrated aspect of her debut novel (and not mere chapter headers), these 50 photographs, even though shot over decades and in many countries, offer an unusual visual element to the mis-enscene of the novel’s text, compelling the reader to approach each word with the mindset of surreal sensory dearrangement typified by Arthur Rimbaud. Taken on their own, the suite offers a window into the painstakinglydeveloped, highly-kinetic visual sense that has guided Rosenthal's eye across mediums. Often unsettling, ever-witty, and marked with the suggestion of the same multi-layered


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

illusion that pervades both her prose and performance, the photographs are further unified by the most prominent theme of her remarkable oeuvre: provocation. Rosenthal deploys odd angles, unexpected relationships and curious vignettes to provoke the eye into an unguarded dispute with its (often faulty) perception of reality. These techniques are played out in, for example, the evocative series of dolls engaged in some activity: they are saturated with the queasy feeling of an emotional tempest just beneath the surface of each doll’s serene outer visage. Similarly, the photo Bird in the Window, Brown 3182+3184, Montreal, 2012, the chosen exhibition image, ambushes the mind with a series of disturbing questions in an otherwise pastoral scene: is it real or decorative? Inside or out? Lulling those of us on the other side of her window into sleep or wrenching us from a dream? In some frames shot while moving, she has watched elements change position around her until they smash into a startling composition; motion is evident but only tentatively stabilized, and we are destabilized to view it. She uses Olympus OM-1 fully manual analog 35mm cameras and lenses, and prints digitally. About 41 of the images were composed completely in the camera and printed full-frame, and 9 were digitally distorted, composited, or, “recolorated,” as she calls it. For 12 years, she taught Photography at Parsons School of Design, NYC. The 23-day exhibition at Galerie Protégé will be punctuated by two artist’s receptions, the first on Tuesday, June 14 (69pm) and the second on Thursday, June 30th (5:30-7:30pm). Rosenthal will read and record one chapter of the novel


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Wish for Amnesia during each reception, carrying on with another project that has evolved over the course of the last two years: the creation of an author-read video performance of the book. This floating composite performance video, begun at the launch of the first galleyproof, in Barletta, Italy in February, 2015, has been proceeding one chapter at a time via Rosenthal’s readings at literary and artistic events across the world, further demonstrating her uncanny ability to allow artistic work to flow seamlessly within various projects, even (or perhaps, particularly) when moving across media. Joining her to read from their own works will be some of the various curators of reading events in NYC who made Barbara Rosenthal’s composite video possible. Joseph A. W. Quintela New York, June 2016


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Gas Chamber / Bogus Shower Room, Sachsenhausen, 6-09-2-35. Outside Berlin, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Railroad Clock Tower from Car, Creepy, 1-05-21-23. Clarion County, IN, 2005


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Umbrella on Floor of Howard Greenberg Gallery, 3-05-4-5. NYC, 2005


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Circle Square Z Vaulted Ceiling & Three Roosting Birds, 8-09-2-1. Paris, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Slide in Twilight Playground, with Klaus E,, 6-09-5-28. Berlin, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Two Hanging Shirts through Windows, High, 9-09-3-34. London, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Doll in Montreal Ethnographic Museum, 11-12-1-11. Montreal, 2012


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Peasant-bound Scrapbook, 6-07-20-40. St. Pt, Russia, 2007 in Faux NYT Collage.


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Anchored Flying Doll, 3-05-4-22. NYC, 2005


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Pointy Doll in Coffin Bed, 3-05-4-24. NYC, 2005


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

White Mirror Woman Doll, 6-88-3-30. NYC, 1988


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Little Doll in Doorway, 3-05-4-25. NYC, 2005


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Figure in Hat with Book and Candle from Magic Doorway, 10-89-4-29. NYC, 1989


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Fourth of July, Crawford County, w/the Wendells, 1-05-13-24. Coriden, IN, 2005


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Smart French Doll in Yellow Jewelry Box, 11-12-6-25. Montreal, 2012


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Silvia Bonilla, Queen in Light at the Smith&Jones Gallery, Blue, 1447. Brooklyn, NY, 2014


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

My Guide in the Gold Mine, Fire, 10-13-x-19. Ballarat, Australia, 2013


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Rob on Landing w/Torch at Abandoned Soviet Base, 2-13-8-5. Zossen, Germany, 2013


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Green God, 8215. Sidney, Australia, 2013


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Alien Fetuses in Jars, Green, 0004. St. Petersburg, RU, 2007


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Egyptian Figurine of Ankhoudjès and Wife in the Louvre, Tan, 9615. Paris, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Two of Three Red-lit Lined Figures, 0889. Melbourne, 2014


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Night Statues Friedrich vDennewitz & Gerhard vScharnhorst, w/Klaus, 9338. Berlin, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Two Dolls on Dostoyevsky’s Bench, Green, 6-07-12-33. Starya Russa, Russia, 2005


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Ghost Ship on the Noosa River, Deep Brown, 8683. Noosaville, Australia, 2013


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Bird in the Window, Brown, 3182+3184. Montreal, 2012


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Stripe Sunrise Framed in Plane Window, Approaching Melbourne, 8763. Melbourne, 2014


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Bio-luminescent Creatures, Red Circle & Map, Mus of Natural History, 5-12-1-28. NYC, 2012


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Christ Emitting Light Shafts, Horiz Distortion, Colorized, 6-07-15-94. St. Petersburg, Russia, 2007


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Model of Future Earth, 7903. Melbourne, 2014 & Basketball Moon, 9798. Paris, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

View East on 57th St outside Marian Goodman Gallery, Full Moon, Gold, 0136. NYC, 2010


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Colored Lights Edges, Trees, Full Moon, Coil & Green Steetlamp, 8-09-6-27. Paris, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Origami Figure Hanging from Bus Station Underpass, 9889. London, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Italian Restaurant in Grünewald, Amber, 2-13-9-4. Grünewald, Germany, 2013


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Figure in Window from Bar Quais de Brumes, 11-12-8-3. Montreal, 2012


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Window and Cartwheel in Prague Castle, Yellow, 0601. Prague, 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Airplane Sunrise Clouds NY to Montreal I, 0915. Montreal, 2011


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Airplane Sunrise Clouds NY to Montreal II, 0924. Montreal, 2011


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Little Red House in Focus on Drive North from Beijing, 6-06-26-3. Hairu, China, 2006


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Pos Neg Trees along the Tiber River near Tyler, Orange & Aqua, 1931. Rome, 2015


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Sunburst in Wedge Landscape, Purple Sky, 10-13-x-1. Hinterlands, Australia, 2013


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Two Gulls in a Clouding Blue Sky on Beach w/Anne, 7948. St Kilda, Australia, 2013


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel�Wish for Amnesia� and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

I-90 from Car: Magic Triangular Tree Composition, 1-85-4-15. NY to FL, 1985


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

I-90 from Car: Magic Composition of Median and Road, 7-84-4-17. NY to FL, 1984


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Little Swoop of Trees Driving North with Jocelyn, 11-12-3-16. Mont-St-Hilaire, Quebec, 2012


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Big Swoop of Trees Driving North with Jocelyn, 11-12-3-15 . Mont-St-Hilaire, Quebec, 2012


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Indiana House with One Tree on Stormy Hill, 1-05-2-11. Clarion County, IN, 2005


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Six Wheat Stalks, Sun Streaks and Clouds, 7-07-2-25. Turko, Finland, 2007


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Two Tree Guardians & Twelve Small Between, Vertical, 7-09-4-1. Remerschen, Lux., 2009


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016 Light Like Airplane over Bldg Entrances & Lampshadow, 8-08-1-27. Wales, 2008


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Exhibition Card


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

About the Prints:

Unless otherwise noted, all work is 35mm full-frame unmanipulated analog film photograph, designated by month-year-roll-frame. Any of digital origin are designated by 4 digits. All here on exhibit are digitally printed on Hahnemühle Rag Paper, 11” x 14” except the following titles printed 13” x 19”: Anchored Flying Doll, 3-05-4-22. NYC, 2005 Pointy Doll in Coffin Bed, 3-05-4-24. NYC, 2005 White Mirror Woman Doll, 6-88-3-30. NYC, 1988 Little Doll in Doorway, 3-05-4-25. NYC, 2005

11” x 14” | $750 13” x 19” | $950 Please inquire for custom sizes.


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

About the Artist: Barbara Ann Rosenthal (born 1948 in The Bronx, New York) is an American avant-garde artist, writer and performer. Her existential themes have contributed to contemporary art and philosophy. Her pseudonyms include "Homo Futurus," taken from the title of one of her books, and "Cassandra-on-the-Hudson," which alludes to her studio and residence since 1998 on the Hudson River in Greenwich Village, NYC, and “the dangerous world she envisions.” Rosenthal is idiosyncratic and prolific. She is known for often revisiting past works, recombining old elements with new, and often appears in her work in some way. These may include x-rays, brain scans and clothing. Sometimes she utilizes physical or textual elements from her journals. As a creative artist within the fields of surrealism and existentialism, Rosenthal brings existential content, via the subconscious, to conceptual art and is known for her intense introspection and by using herself "as a guinea pig", explores what it means to be human. Her personal vision evolves with advancing technology. As an artist, Rosenthal is known as an Old Master of New Media because of her long history in media including photography, video, performance, projection installation, interactive, electronic and digital media, text, collage, prints, artists' books and objects. Almost all are produced in editions. Most combine camera, text and performative aspects. Elements of Rosenthal's body of work, "Surreal Photography" are often present. (barbararosenthal.org) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Rosenthal)


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

About the Curator:

Joseph A. W. Quintela is an artist, publisher, and art-organizer working at the fault lines emergent in the face of posttextual and post-productive modes of living. With a particular interest in material excess, systemic collapse, and generative revitalization, his practice harnesses a fluency in a variety of media including paint, light, books, text, and culinary ingredients. Solo exhibitions in New York have included Portrait of the Cast of You in Eye (Dumbo Sky, 2013) and FOOT | KNOTS (Project Space Envelope, 2012). He has organized exhibitions for Undercurrent Projects (Books Without Words, 2014), Terrazzo Art Projects (Se Cayo Todo, 2014), and the Brooklyn-based Pop-Up initiative Smith&Jones. Ongoing displays of his work are housed at The Strand, Central Booking (LES), and Salina’s Restaurant (Chelsea). (www.josephquintela.com)


Barbara Rosenthal:

50 Surreal Photos from the Novel”Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

June 2016 Barbara Rosenthal: 50 Surreal Photos from the Novel “Wish for Amnesia” and Installation of All Draft Editions 1980-2016

Curated by Joseph A. W. Quintela Galerie Protégé New York

Barbara Rosenthal: 50 Surreal Photos (catalog)  

The June Exhibition by Smith&Jones at Galerie Protege (Chelsea), June 7th to June 28th

Barbara Rosenthal: 50 Surreal Photos (catalog)  

The June Exhibition by Smith&Jones at Galerie Protege (Chelsea), June 7th to June 28th

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