Photographs by Ward Davenny at Mary Ryan Gallery
NEW YORK CITY – Mary Ryan Gallery is exhibiting photographs by Ward Davenny in “,” on view through March 31.
“” features a sequence of 12 digitally altered photographs: reconstructed landscapes from photographs and videos taken by the artist over a period of several years and varied locations, from his 1999 storm chasing in Texas and Oklahoma, to Hawaii, the Pyrenees and Pennsylvania.
Although the landscapes on view continue to bear traces of environments Davenny has seen or felt – where any factual place may be left behind – this series is departure because they are comprised solely of computer manipulated photographs, often enhanced by color. Davenny’s immersion into digitally reconstructed photographs initially stemmed from a 1999 trip to Oklahoma and Texas where he accompanied a “storm chasing” team of meteorological scientists in order to document the severe weather they encountered.
“The turbulence of the air and light, and the profound violence implicit and actual led to a series.” Davenny deliberately culled destructive weather images from his own photographs and videos. Using computer manipulation, the artist broke down, altered, heightened and restored his images in order to accentuate a relationship that “emerged between the movement of clouds, of smoke from fires, of fog, of steam from lava flows.” The transformed landscapes were then printed digitally by the artist on a massive Epson 9000 and measure on average 40 by 60 inches.
A central, on-going theme for Davenny has been the interaction of man’s landscape with the “natural,” precisely because he finds the combination to be often more interesting than either in their “pure” state. The stormy landscapes and their intentionally grained surfaces the images are literally breaking up into abstraction – that comprise “” serve as metaphors for this interaction, as well as expressions of Davenny’s part in the destruction and restoration of his own imagery.
At the same time, Davenny’s recent images combine definitions of traditional art categories. The specific expression of landscapes in this series, the tools he uses to create them, and their attendant contemporary metaphors of nature and technology and of art and technology, are not lost on the artist. Davenny comments that he likes collisions.
The artist has had seven solo exhibitions at Mary Ryan Gallery since 1983. His last solo show at the gallery was in 1998.
The gallery is on the second floor of 24 West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. for information, 212/397-0069.