Aesthetica | "13 Ways of Looking at Landscape: Larry Silver's Connecticut Photographs"

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Issue 107 June / July 2022




Hannah Starkey speaks about the future of photographic revolution

Exploring the complex geopolitics and climate of subtropical Florida

Tracing the history of Modernism along the Rocky Mountain range

A new exhibition cultivates speculative futures based upon creative liberation

UK £6.95 Europe €12.95 USA $16.49


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4. Sandra Cattaneo Adorno, Águas de Ouro I (2016). 45 inches x 30 inches. 5a. Wolfgang Tillmans, Smokin Jo, window, 1995, unframed inkjet print, 208 x 138 cm © Wolfgang Tillmans, courtesy Maureen Paley, London. 5b. Tom Hunter, Woman Reading Possession Order, 1997, from the series ‘Persons Unknown’, cibachrome print mounted on board, 29.7 x 21.0 cm, courtesy the artist Tom Hunter. 6. Larry Silver, Man and Walker, Compo Beach, Westport, CT, 2020, archival inkjet print, courtesy of the artist and Bruce Silverstein Gallery.




At the age of 60, Sandra Cattaneo Adorno picked up a camera for the first time after her daughter gifted her a photography class for her birthday. In 2016, she returned to her native Río de Janeiro to capture the glorious expanse of Ipanema beach. Here, she fixed her lens on bright contrasts, the play of shadows and light, whilst city locals ran across the sands, splashing in the water and bathing in the sea. The compositions are all bathed in a kind of liquid gold: a heady sunlight bouncing off the waves and skyscraper windows. In Adorno’s images, the viewer finds a sensuous beauty and a surreal eroticism in the pervasion of light, the fluid movement of bodies, and the moist wetness of gold, a colour that suffuses every photograph, whether it is in the glare of the sun winking on the skin, ethereal droplets of water buoyed around the lone silhouette of a bikini-clad girl, or the sands of the beach itself where water meets earth. The interplay be-

tween the city and its shores comes alive in these still frames. Selections from Adorno’s 2020 photography book, Águas de Ouro (Waters of Gold), are showcased in Personal Structures, an exhibition that runs concurrent to the Venice Biennale, as are newer works from the project Scarti di Tempo (Scraps of Time), released by Radius Books in July. In newer works, Adorno uses metal plates to transform compositions through monochromes of different shades, and then collaged contrasting exposures to show the nonlinearity of time. Nostalgia – an enduring longing for what has been lost, and equally, for what could have been – infuses the work, which employs a similar surrealism as earlier works, but are more reticent, wistful and haunting. Upon viewing Adorno's mesmerising compositions, one word comes to mind: déjàvu. It's as if we're looking at a lover whose face we have seen before but never met – a narrowly missed connection.

Words Iman Sultan

Venice Biennale: Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora, Marinaressa Gardens 23 April - 27 November



When we consider images of women standing or sitting by in eight themes – amongst them Models and Muses, The Rea window, many of us might think of 17th century paintings naissance Woman in the Window, Windows and Screens, Fragof Dutch interiors. Jan Vermeer's Girl Reading a Letter at an mented Bodies, A Window onto the Domestic Interior – topics Open Window (1657-9) has certainly inspired Tom Hunter. In that allow the works to engage with each other beautifully. Despite an impressive selection of names like Degas, Pithe photograph Woman Reading Possession Order (1997), he might have exchanged rich interiors for a stark residence, the casso, Botticelli and Rossetti, it is the contemporary artists' letter in the woman's hand an eviction notice, but the com- works (such as Bourgeois, Whiteread and Hwami) that are position, light and hues are those of Vermeer – the rich reds, especially exciting due to how they communicate with their Words “predecessors.” Take Ajarb Bernard Ategwa's Posing with my Marthe Lisson blues and greens complemented by drenched sunlight. Reframed demonstates that neither Vermeer, nor Hunter, Parrot (2021), for example. In 17th century Dutch paintings, have been the only ones drawn to these scenes. Over 50 birds alluded to the sitter's demeanour, as well as colonial works span close to 3,000 years of history. The oldest object trade. In Ategwa's painting, the parrot may symbolise com- Dulwich Picture Gallery, is a tiny, carved ivory panel from Phoenician times. The munication – the trade of the influencer in the 21st century. London newest work is Kudzanai-Violet Hwami's brightly coloured Reframed: The Woman in the Window is a fascinating over- 4 May - 4 September portrait Tsitsi (2022). However, the exhibition is not organ- view of a century-old trope that continues to inspire and proised chronologically. Sculpture, painting, print, photography, voke – not least during global lockdown, when the window dulwichpicture film and installation sit next to each other, grouped together was both a border and a way for loved ones to see each other.



Visiting Connecticut through the attentive gaze of Larry Silver (b. 1947) feels similar to the sensation of reading pastoral poetry. These intimate observations of the New England state – which Silver has called home since 1973 – blend bodies and nature in mise-en-scènes that seem orchestrated yet completely serendipitous: as if taken in the right place at the right time. Jogger, Westport, CT (1979) and Sitting at Water’s Edge, Sherwood Island State Park, Westport, CT (2014/2022) – both on view – are enveloped by a sense of wonder, whether through towering autumn trees or rippling summer waves that offer an immediate sense of calm. Indeed, the show’s curator Leslie K. Brown had this feeling whilst going through an archive of nearly 6,000 photographs upon visiting the 88-year-old artist’s home. “I started to wonder if I could bring together the ideas of photography and poetry with a local writer who shares a similar synergy with Larry’s work,” she notes. Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways

of Looking at a Blackbird (1954) was the answer, a poem which inspired the exhibition design – taking influence from the stanzas and splitting the rooms into 13 sections. Each of these components includes a harmonious juxtaposition of text and images made from the 1970s up to the present-day. “I was of three minds / Like a tree / In which there are three blackbirds,” says the poem’s second stanza, and the 12th reads: “The river is moving / The blackbird must be flying.” In a welcome combination, the large-scale Water #9 (2004) depicts a textured image of the sea, paired with other smaller pictures of abstracted natural phenomena. Another grouping includes shots from a pavilion by the beach, using the window as a frame to encapsulate subjects as they pass by the sun-filled shore, the shadows softening their outlines against the horizon line. Silver masterfully captures a sharp contrast between the bright summer light outside and a dark nook of introspection – yielding a hazy, painterly finish.

Words Osman Can Yerebakan

Fairfield University Art Museum, Connecticut 25 March - 18 June

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