Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Review: Matthew Garrett photography and Gerald Saladyga paintings at Kehler Liddell (closed)

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave., New Haven, (203) 389-9555
Matthew Garrett: Recent Photographs
Gerald Saladyga: Landscapes 2008—2012

I'm catching up on some posts that I was unable to do earlier.

During the first Open Studios weekend, I also got to visit the two shows then on exhibit at Kehler Liddell Gallery in Westville, Matthew Garrett's Recent Photographs and Gerald Saladyga's Landscapes 2008—2012.

Garrett was at the gallery when I stopped by and told me that he "became a night photographer because I have a job and a baby." According to Garrett, "The way to look at them is that nothing ever happens in my pictures but it looks like something might have just happened or be about to happen. And I kind of like that."

Matthew Garrett: "Swimming Pool"

Being something of a neophyte to night photography, Garrett said he could still be surprised by some of what he captures albeit not on the level of when he was shooting with a film. As an example, he pointed to "Swimming Pool," a night shot of the back of a house with a swimming pool gone to seed and overgrown with weeds. Garrett was shooting for the pool and the quality of the evening light but discovered more when he blew the image up for printing. When he enlarged the image, he saw layers of imagery on the back of the house that resemble video projections, created by a number of different nearby light sources including a traffic light.

I'm struck by "Side Yard," a seemingly prosaic street scene enriched with an atmosphere of fog and subtle lighting from streetlights, the façade lights of a storefront in the background and the glow from the windows of the house in the foreground. It could be a film still, pregnant with drama.

Gerald Saladyga: "What's Going On" detail

Jerry Saladyga's paintings issue from a wild personal vision, the result of years of evolution and experimentation. Saladyga's paintings conflate social commentary with cartoons in a punchy graphic style that revels in bold colors and a plethora of interesting textures. Images of the natural world—mountains, stars in the heavens, pine trees, silhouettes of animals, birds and fish—contend with representations of the human war on nature and humanity itself—submarines, military helicopters, jets, drones, oil derricks, tankers, the cooling towers of nuke plants, explosions and tracers of light akin to night weapons fire.

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