the Denver Post, 6/14/2002
Blooms in View at Gallery Sink
Photo exhibit shows old and new media
June 14, 2002
Mitsch's 'Datura', a Giclee print on Arches cold-press paper
with archival inks, is on display at Gallery Sink.
brilliant colors, voluptuous shapes and heavenly fragrances of flowers
have enchanted and inspired artists of all kinds for centuries, and
contemporary photographers are certainly no exception.
Cunningham, for example, built an international reputation on her
delectable floral images, and Robert Mapplethorpe is almost as widely
known for his works in this realm as he is for his controversial sexual
photographs of flowers are squeezed into the compact display space
at Gallery Sink in an exhibition that continues owner Mark Sink's
penchant for covering as much territory as he possibly can in each
of his offerings.
unlike some of his recent themed shows, such as last year's standout,
"Emotional Distance," this one has a less clear-cut and
compelling thread tying together the mass of images.
one connecting link beyond the common subject matter is Sink's simple
desire, as he expresses in a short accompanying statement, to show
works reflecting a wide assortment of photographic techniques. And
in that regard, he certainly has succeeded.
of the pieces, such as "Pod Suite No. 30" by Adrienne Veninger
of Toronto, Canada, a series of sepia-toned depictions of long, spindly
pods that take on figurative qualities, were printed using traditional
others break from the ordinary in all kinds of interesting ways, such
as two images by Bernice Halpern Cutler of New York City - "Rose"
and "Orchid" - that look like a kind of mix of photography
are, in fact, photo transfers. Cutler spreads a layer of gel over
an inkjet print, removes the paper from the gel's surface - and a
transferred image becomes frozen in the gel as it hardens into a flat,
hard rectangle sheet.
of the photographers take advantage of new digital-scanning and inkjet
technologies, such as Jo Leggett of San Francisco. She has eliminated
the camera entirely by placing blooms right on the scanner, producing
images with a refined, shimmering elegance.
might be expected given the subject matter, a sensuousness pervades
this show, turning almost explicitly sexual in the vibrantly colorful
images of Teri O'Neill of Golden, sporting titles such as "Body
Heat" and "So Happy to See You." Using specially designed
cameras from the medical world, she manages to get remarkable, up-close
shots of pistils and stamens, which have uncanny and unmistakable
resemblances to human genitalia.
some images are much more restrained, such as the four photogravure
studies from the 19th century by famed German photographer Karl Blossfeldt,
which, though certainly handsome, have a sober, specimen-like quality.
similarly cool, even scientific appearance could logically be expected
of the works of Steven Meyers of Bellingham, Wash., considering he
uses X-rays. But these see-through images of flowers have a surprising
beauty and grace.
that flowers just might offer the most dazzling range of colors of
anything on the planet, it would be natural to assume virtually all
the photographers featured would employ some version of color imagery.
in fact, at least half of these images are probably black and white,
with the artists focusing on the many other amazing qualities of flowers,
such as their tantalizing, tactile qualities.
is this facet more tellingly represented than in the soft ripples
and folds of the overlapping petals in the black-and-white inkjet
prints "Datura H" and "Datura G" by Doris
Mitsch of New York City, easily two of the most stunning images
in the show.
most of the photographers stick to some variation on realism, a few
break away, such as conceptualist Susan Evans of Daytona Beach, Fla.
Borrowing from Ed Ruscha, she "depicts" flowers with words,
simply placing, for example, the phrase "field of poppies"
in white against a black field.
Boettiger of Denver photographed a flower from a television screen,
using a process that so blurred the image, titled "Free Flowers
1," it has turned into a vivid abstraction of vague circles and
curves in bright reds, oranges and yellows.
than 30 photographers are represented, and to Sink's credit, there
is little drop-off in quality anywhere in the mix.