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Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday opening at Kehler Liddell Gallery

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 389-9555
Jason Friedes: Domi-cells
Hank Paper: Cuba, Arrested Splendor
June 23—July 24, 2011.
Opening reception: Sun., June 26, 3—6 p.m. Artist talk at 3:30 p.m.

Press release

Kehler Liddell Gallery is pleased to present Domi-cells, an exhibition of steel sculpture and mixed media installation by guest artist Jason Friedes, and Cuba: Arrested Splendor, an exhibition of photographs by street photographer Hank Paper taken over the past 10 years.

Friedesʼ work responds to the metaphor of the various cages that we build around each other and ourselves. The work questions whether these boundaries are a means of identification and protection, or stereotyping and isolation.

Select works invite public interaction. “Cage for Family,” for example, is made up of 3 cramped cells—one large, one medium and one small, the ideal accommodation for a father, mother and child. Participants must crouch and bend sideways to fit into their personal cages, which can be bound by a padlock. Inside, visitors can reflect on their own family experiences or childhood memories.

Other works suspend and bind ordinary objects in steel grids. In this context, sentimental objects, such as school desks, a rocking horse and a highchair undergo revision. Perhaps these icons of education, play and nurture are outdated or romanticized. Can memories, like the cages, manufacture superficial constructs of our culture and society?

Friedes received his BFA from Rhodes College in 2005. He currently lives and works in New Haven, and will pursue an MFA in the sculpture program at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago this fall.

Hank Paper traveled to Cuba in 2001 to study with Constantine Manos, a landmark artist recognized for introducing color to street photography, and returned this March to document the change. A comparison of the old and new reveals a country that has actually changed very little. But beaming through the seams of Cubaʼs majestic crumbling architecture and repressive socialist economy is an optimistic inner rhythm of the Cuban people, who maintain their legendary vintage Cadillacs, dance in the streets and embrace sexy fashions, while awaiting normalization.

For his recent trip, Paper navigated the streets of Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, San Francisco de Paula and beyond with handheld Leica camera. The photos are cropped with his lens in the style of the eponymous New York street photographers of the 70ʼs and 80ʼs, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus. The invention of digital imaging has not fundamentally changed his craft.

Paper has documented contemporary society, mining the streets of North America, the UK, Western Europe, the Middle East and Cuba for the past 35 years. He has exhibited in museum and gallery shows around the world, including The African American Museum in Philadelphia (2006), The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel (1999), The Jewish Museum of New Jersey (2008), the High Point Historical Museum in North Carolina (2001), and the Leica Gallery in New York City (2002). He received the Piedmont Award from the Somers Juried Photography Show in 2009 and a grant from the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism in 2006. He currently lives and works in Hamden, CT where he runs the acclaimed independent film store, Best Video.

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