SOLOWAY Presents: Steel Stillman, Analogy, October 20-November 24 (opening reception tonight from 6 to 8 pm)
October 20 – November 24, 2019
Opening Reception Sunday, October 20, 6–8 pm
[Photography] is, rather, the world’s primary way of revealing itself to us – of demonstrating that it exists, and that it will forever exceed us.*
Soloway is pleased to present Analogy, an exhibition of photographs by Steel Stillman. Analogy brings together a dozen Polaroid photographs from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s of drawings traced from found family albums and sets them alongside recent digital prints of three photographs taken by the artist between 1985 and 2013. The Polaroids–all are about 3 ½ by 4 ½ inches–are from a series called Transparencies [1986-1993], in which ink drawings on clear acetate are placed on a tinfoil-lined light box and photographed from the front. By contrast, the larger digital prints – the largest is 5 by 6 feet – are relatively straight photographs from Stillman’s Enlargements series [2015-ongoing], pictures that he’s been taking with snapshot-type cameras since his teens and has only recently begun printing. The juxtaposition of these distinct bodies of work reflects, among other things, two ways of questioning the relationship between time and photography, especially with respect to individual lives and experience. Whether by making Polaroids that reanimate people who may well have been dead, their places and things long forgotten, when their found photographs were traced, or by enlarging anonymous moments from more recent decades, Stillman stitches together recurring iconic motifs – figures, houses, landscapes – in a shadow play that locates the past as a figment of our material and psychological present.
A 30-page catalogue also entitled Analogy and featuring an essay by Wayne Koestenbaum accompanies the exhibition and is published by Hassla.
Steel Stillman is an artist and writer based in New York. His most recent solo show Prospects, which included photographs and wallpaintings, was at Galerie van Gelder in Amsterdam in 2018. He is currently in the exhibition “who knows one,” curated by Haim Steinbach at Vistamare Gallery in Pescara, Italy. Recent group shows include ones at Carriage Trade, Kai Matsumiya Gallery, and Magenta Plains, all in New York; David Peterson Gallery, in Minneapolis; and Kunstverein Langenhagen in Langenhagen, Germany. His artist book Black Point, which includes 75 photographs from the Enlargements series and an interview with the artist by Anne Doran was published by Hassla in 2018. Stillman is also a contributing editor at Art in America.
*Kaja Silverman, The Miracle of Analogy, or The History of Photography, Part 1, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015), p. 10.
Image: Steel Stillman, Three Animals,” 1986-1993; 4.5” x 3.5”; Polacolor print (from “Transparencies” series)