Indepth Arts News: |
"Local Color: Six Contemporary
2001-03-03 until 2001-05-13
Portland Museum of Art
On March 3, 2001, the Portland Museum of Art will debut the exhibition Local Color: Six Contemporary
Photographers featuring more than 40 works by six of Maine’s most important photographers working in color. This special
exhibition highlights new work by Paul D'Amato, Tanja Alexia Hollander, Jocelyn Lee, Rose Marasco, Melville McLean, and
Scott Peterman, displaying the range and depth of contemporary explorations of the art of color photography. The exhibition will
be on view until May 13, 2001.
For most of its history as an art form, color photography has been viewed with suspicion. While color film was available as early
as the mid-1930s, it was not widely used in art until the late 1960s. Early pioneers in color, like Ernst Haas and Eliot Porter,
expanded the public's understanding of the role color can play in building a photographic image, yet it was a long time before
color photography was fully accepted in artistic circles. With a few exceptions, the most recognized figures in photography have
shot in black-and-white, and some people still consider black-and-white photography more artistic than color, which is often
dubbed as commercial. Color photography gained wider acceptance during the 1980s, as more sensitive films and methods of
printing were developed, and photographers began to experiment more widely with the aesthetics of color. Now, at the start of the
new millennium, color photography has become an important part of contemporary art worldwide.
In keeping with the strength of the photographic community in the state, there is a significant amount of color photography being
made in Maine. These works include diverse approaches and subjects, such as Tanja Alexia Hollander's painterly color
abstractions, Melville McLean's expansive yet finely-detailed views of the natural world, Paul D'Amato's sensitively formal yet
emotionally powerful images of people in their environments, Scott Peterman's quiet tone poems combining landscape and
architecture, Jocelyn Lee's searing portraits revealing the inner lives of women, and Rose Marasco's jewel-like arrangements of
domestic objects that evoke centuries of women's history. Local Color highlights the variety of methods and uses for color in photography through recent work by
some of the outstanding photographers currently living and working in Maine.