New Builds is an exhibition of four American artists who compress sculptural, painterly and collage instincts into photographic space.
Daniel Gordon photographs elaborate still lifes in vibrating patterns. Pitchers, fruit and flowers are built from photographs of pitchers, fruit and flowers, then built into studio sets. The scenes are tuned in Photoshop for heightened effect, reaching toward pure graphics at times, while the crunch of the paper seam always remains, keeping the hand present and the exotic space physical. Matt Lipps’ three-dimensional collages of archival photographic reproductions create expansive new taxonomies of visual culture, precisely staged and lit, scholarly but brimming with narrative. In John Houck’s iterative History of Graph Paper works, photography combines with rephotography, making reproductions share the frame with their subjects, generating uncanny, dreamy space that has experienced no digital manipulation. Anthony Lepore created a studio inside his father’s bikini factory in Los Angeles, developing from there an ongoing series of photographs that reflect on the processes of manufacturing, the banality of labor, the creation of fantasy and the (sometimes literal) ties that bind.
New Builds is conceived as a photography exhibition that breathes, flexing around the idea of the rectangle pigmented with chemicals. It is a show about contemporary image-making that does not fixate on the implications of the screen and dematerialisation of photographic imagery, but instead chews on the material and the object, the stuff of photography. Philosophically these artists take the approach that object and material lead into concept, not the other way round. New Builds invites discussion about the contemporary photograph in the physical world rather than the contemporary photograph’s relationship to virtual space.