Stillness and Receptivity: Modes in Contemporary Photography and Painting
Support provided by FotoFocus
September 18th - November 1st, 2020
Stillness and Receptivity explores how both photographers and painters express the fundamental ideas of art and composition. It is the balance of being a poised observer and remaining open. The exhibition investigates the similarities between painter and photographer, the methodologies they employ, from the use of lighting and design, from the objects they depict and how combinations of these elements can change the context of a composition, our understanding, and its meaning to us.
Participating Artists: Jonathan Eiten, Jordanne Renner, Sally Schrohenloher, Sarah Sedwick, Ed Shrider, John Sousa, Matthew Zory
Artist Process Videos
Artist Studio Shots
John Sousa, studio shots
Artist Statements and Biographies
I am inspired to tell a story! Antique and organic objects conjure up unique memories and feelings. I find beauty in the wear and patina of old objects and reflections in glass and silver, and simplicity and humor in whimsical objects. A still life with a single object is appealing for its balance and focus whereas a painting with multiple objects brings movement and contrast.
In my realistic rendering of objects, I paint so an image can be enjoyed at first glance for its beauty and clarity but work to create depth, so the interest grows upon multiple viewings. I achieve this through first drawing the image on the panel or canvas and then add a grayscale (black and white) painting to establish the contrasts of light and dark. I then add layers of color to draw the viewer in to the painting.
Jonathan Eiten was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His family moved to Iowa when he was an infant. He spent most of his childhood in Steamboat Rock, Iowa. From a young age his artistic talents were recognized and encouraged by his teachers and parents. He began his formal studies as an artist in 1987 while attending Central College University in Pella, Iowa. He studied printmaking under Lawrence Mills and acquired along with it a strong sense and skill of the classical traditions of drawing.
In 1989 Jonathan had the opportunity to go to The Netherlands as part of a study abroad program. While there he studied Dutch Art History at the University of Leiden. He also took studio courses at ARS Aemula Naturae (Leiden School of Art) under Frans De Haas. It was during this time that Jonathan was able to study 17th Century Dutch paintings at many of the museums there.
After returning to the U.S. Jonathan attended Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his B.F.A in fine art, with a focus in printmaking and drawing, from Calvin in 1992. After college he experimented drawing in silver point and showing in local juried competitions.
In 1997, after several years of working in the field of counseling Jonathan moved to Maine where he worked with artist Jon Allen Marshall. After a year of painting he took a second trip to The Netherlands with the goal of revisiting many of the museums there. It was during his trip to Holland that Jonathan came into contact with contemporary Dutch realism. This exposure helped to clarify the focus he wanted to take in his painting. His creative process has been shaped by a number of people including contemporary painters from the Noordelijke Realisten movement and painters from the past such as Chardin and the 17th-century Dutch masters. Although aspects of their paintings can be seen in his work, he is striving for a unique look. He paints mostly from life and desires the image to be objective, but also wants to present another dimension or reality beyond what one first sees. For example, the scratches in an antique wooden table or the worn pages of a letter or book are things that tell a story. Important parts of his paintings, light and reflection, are used to help focus the eye and to aid in telling the story. This encourages the viewer to look beyond the objects themselves and to contemplate deeper.
In 2005 Jonathan was accepted into membership at the Copley Society of Art. A few years later he was advanced to the level of Copley Artist. He has enjoyed participating in a number of shows at their gallery on Newbury Street in Boston as well as off-site exhibits at Harvard College and Symphony Hall. He has shown at other galleries in Boston and participated in the 2013 Allston Arts Open Studios. He has had paintings accepted at the New England Regional Juried Exhibitions at The Guild of Boston Artists and has showed at several galleries in Portland, Maine, and Cincinnati, Ohio. Jonathan became a member of Oil Painters of America in 2019 and has had paintings accepted for their 2019 Eastern Regional Exhibition as well as the 2020 National Juried Exhibition. In 2019 Jonathan won Painter of the Year and Best of Show Runner-up at Art Comes Alive, an international juried competition, in Cincinnati. Early in 2020 Jonathan won 3rd place in the Artist’s Choice Competition at Fusion Art. First Street Gallery in NYC chose one of his pieces for their 2020 National Juried Exhibition. Jonathan’s paintings are part of private collections in the United States and Europe as well Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI. He lives just outside of Portland, Maine, with his wife, a professional musician, and their two sons.
Culture of Place and its indulgences- whether decadent or grotesque- are intriguing to artist JordanneRenner. Discovering quiet and at times somber extravagances, Jordanne enjoys discovering the dazzle of light and repetition in patterns that humanity inadvertently creates. She likens these moments to paintings of yesteryear, and uses her film cameras to shape the photographic image in painterly way.
Jordanne Renner is an artist that works across many platforms including large format film photography, figurative sculpture, mural paintings, public art & installation, and the repurposing of materials for social engagements & fundraising affairs. She considers photography as an extension of her Self, which is an ongoing photographic investigation for her since 2000. Jordanne also explores topics in the culture of place, the body and landscape, indulgence in still-life, and the psychology of memory.
She earned her BFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design in 2003, and her MFA in Studio Arts/Photography from The Ohio State University in 2010. Jordanne is a recipient of an Edwin Austin Abbey Mural Fellowship (2009), a Puffin Foundation Grant (2015), a Greater Columbus Arts Council Individual Artist Grant (2020), a Big Ideas Grant (2020), and two FotoFocus Biennial Grants (2020).
Jordanne believes in giving back to the community, and is regularly involved with initiatives dismantling food deserts, supporting social justice, education, and arts outreach. Since 2008 she has served on the DC Council for the Wexner Center for the Arts while also professing art and photography as adjunct faculty, and in 2020 she was elected to join the Board of Directors for the Society for Photographic Education. She is a wild woman that has a history of working with ArtWorks Cincinnati as a project manager and lead teaching artist, but most recently Jordanne rallied establishing the international WE, the Women’s Caucus Exhibition opportunity for women in photography— a women supporting women initiative with a grand outreach beyond the arts.
Painting for me is about creating a new reality. If I am successful, the painting will connect with the viewer at a uniquely personal level. Painting is also about resolving a world of opposites. I change a three dimensional world into two. I try to make a balance between areas of activity and areas of stillness in my art. I use very old traditional methods to create a visual message that is contemporary with our lives. The act of painting itself involves analyzing and inventing, looking within and observing the world outside of myself, realizing accomplishments and accepting failures, and always exploring new possibilities for the next composition.
Sally Schrohenloher was born in 1957 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated with honors from the University of Cincinnati in 1979 with a bachelor of fine arts degree. During high school and college she was the illustrator and artist at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and after graduating from college she became the illustrator for the zoology and botany departments at Duke University. While on the staff at Duke she began painting still lifes in the evenings and on weekends, joining her fine art training with her love of the natural world.
The paintings from the early 1980's led Sally to a curiosity of what gave still life paintings of previous centuries their brilliance of color and convincing interpretation of form. In order to learn more about these paintings she began traveling to the major museums of the world to study and experience the actual works of such 17th century Dutch masters as Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Willem Claesz. Heda, Jan van Huysum, and Rachel Ruysch. She also studied scientific research that has been performed on such paintings by museums during their restoration. Through museum study, scientific study, and trial and error, Sally has arrived at her current painting technique. Starting off with a detailed base painting done in neutral shades of opaque oils, Sally next applies layers of transparent glazes to build color relationships and to further enhance the volume of objects in the painting.
Sally Schrohenloher has exhibited at many galleries, art centers, and museums throughout the United States, and has had dozens of one-person shows. Her work is in the permanent corporate collections of Fidelity Investments, Borden, Inc., E.W Scripps Co., as well as numerous private collections. She is also in the permanent collection of the Southern Ohio Museum. She has received awards from the Institute of Museum Services (a part of the National Endowment for the Arts), The Ohio Arts Council, Summerfair Inc., and from such museums as the Stamford Art Museum in Connecticut.
Sally returned to the Midwest in 1982, and began a professional career in painting in 1986. She is a member of Oil Painters of America and The American Society of Marine Artists.
“I paint for the sole purpose of magnifying the privilege of being alive.” -Robert Henri
The paintings in this show are a part of my exploration of the way we create meaning and significance with the objects that surround us. All are painted from life - from direct observation of a still life I created and lit in my studio.
Sarah Sedwick was born in Cleveland, and has lived in Eugene, Oregon since 2007. In 2001, she earned a BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art, where she studied illustration, painting, and art history. A dedicated teacher, Sarah conducts workshops on both still life and portrait painting, as well as an online art mentorship program. She is represented by Tvedten Gallery Fine Arts, inHarbor Springs, Michigan.
“Artistically I believe working toward complete command of a tool or process is part of the journey in realizing one’s vision and should not necessarily be an end in itself. For me, the most exciting work is that which is strong conceptually, with compelling content and minimal market oriented compromises, work that is both visually and intellectually stimulating to the viewer.”
Ed attended Ohio University, Athens, Ohio where, under the guidance of Arnold Gassan in the Department of Photography, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography in 1981. His work primarily focuses on travel and the documentation of industrial, urban and natural landscapes. Photographers who have influenced his work include William Eggleston, Len Jenshel and Stephen Shore, Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz.
John works in series using diverse styles. He is a mixed media artist whose long-term focus has been language, photography, and how we perceive and infer meaning. He believes in using style as well as the formal elements of art (line, shape, color, etc.) to more thoroughly explore his long-term interests. John has always been concerned with the formal qualities of art, and is constantly pushing the bounds of the materials he uses.
These works are large-scale color photographs, archivally mounted to aluminum honeycomb panels. There is no computer manipulation or manipulation of the negative or final print. They stand as pure photographs, the recording of a light event on a negative. I say this because when first seeing these works, most viewers believe they are paintings. Even after discovering they’re not, they still catch themselves referring to them as paintings. This is quite gratifying as one of my primary goals was to make the final print stand on its own. I wanted the work to emphasize itself rather than the subject being photographed; free of the direct representation of the subject.
As an artist, I have long had a love-hate relationship with photography. And yet because photography and its role in art cannot be ignored, I’ve increasingly incorporated it into my work in a wide variety of ways. My previous work relied on collage, distressing and manipulation to bring out the formal, object qualities of photography. While often satisfying, I realized those works were no longer photographs but instead were collage or manipulated photography.
With “Big Blurs,” I set a formal challenge for myself. I wanted to create works that were pure photographs; works that would emphasize their own formal qualities, without the crutch of any type of manipulation. The process of creating these works was spontaneous and playful. I randomly shot what was around me, without viewing or composing the image or adjusting the exposure or focus. My son’s room was a great inspiration; toys, clothing, window blinds, a plastic chair, a cookie jar -all were fair game. My goal was to show a playful disregard for photographic conventions. I wanted to stay out of the way of the process by removing direct intention from the creation of the work. I wanted to create work that existed in spite of and not because of intention. This allows the richness and character of the process, qualities, and limitations inherent to photography to come through. And hopefully creates objects that are both engaging and elusive.
John lives and has a studio in Springboro, Ohio. He was a National Scholastic Art Scholar, and graduated with a BFA from Bradley University in 1982. John will be one of the featured artists in the Midwest edition of the upcoming issue #149 of New American Paintings. John has exhibited his work in a dozen states across the country; most recently at the Art Access Gallery, Columbus, Grace Albrecht Art Gallery Bluffton University, Bluffton, OH, Riffe Gallery in Columbus, OH, UC Blue Ash College Gallery in Blue Ash, OH, the Museum of New Art in Armada, MI, and the 440 Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. He has received two Montgomery County Art Fellowships, and was awarded an AIA Grant by Summerfair in 2014. John is a member of The Contemporary Dayton.
There were a number memories and thoughts and I guess desires that created the impetus for my still life work. I’m drawn to 17th century Dutch paintings (as many of us are) so when given an early photography class assignment I knew I wanted to try creating still life photos. The irony is that it’s the landscapes and genre scenes that I really like. The specific assignment was to choose a color and run with it. I selected the color orange and worked with oranges, salmon and tiger lilies and and worked on getting pleasing compositions by adding and subtracting other objects —and that was no picnic (no pun intended). Most of that work was done on my kitchen table with window light. When processing I went after the almost super-realist look of many of the still life works of the time. That required some experimenting. I was using Adobe Lightroom exclusively at the time and developed my ‘secret sauce’ to get the look I wanted.
A second phase to that work was using the work of Josef Sudek, a famous early 20th century photographer as inspiration. His work—to me—was about simplicity with a dash of surrealism. Often just a few objects—an egg and a glass for example—and just the perfect stream of light and shadow. This work took me to try more abstract work with cut glass, faceted drinking glasses and faceted vases were a few things I tried plus artificial light.
Two of my pieces in this show are printed using what today might be considered a traditional process—inkjet (dye pigment). The third piece was printed using a process from the 1870’s —platinum palladium printing. Ironically this is now referred to as an alternative printing process.
Matthew Zory, as well as being a photographer, is the Assistant Principal Bass (Trish and Rick Bryan Chair) for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the rhythm section bassist for the Cincinnati Pops.
His most recent photography book, "Through the Lens: The Remaking of Cincinnati's Music Hall", takes readers beyond the halls elegant public spaces to explore its hidden corners as hundreds of workers undertake the exacting work of recasting Samuel Hannaford's 19th-century building for 21st-century use. Through the Lens is available at bookstores, museum shops and on Amazon or matthewzory.com.
Matt's photography has been featured in the AEQAI arts journal, the Manifest International Photography Annual, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincinnati Enquirer, numerous trade journals and has appeared in exhibits at the Taft Museum of Art, Carnegie Center for the Arts, Wash Park Art, Indian Hill Gallery and elsewhere.