Today Is History: Kate Breakey, Dan Estabrook & Jerry Spagnoli November 4 — December 31, 2016

First it was questioned as art. Then painters used it as a tool. Decades later it was still defending itself as a viable art form. And now, more than 175 years after its inception, photography is an exalted medium, embraced by galleries, collectors and museums worldwide. While photographers engage with new technologies and new means of presentation, many artists working today still incorporate historical techniques in their work. Today is History brings together three artists who work with 19th / 20th c. processes to talk about present day concerns.

“TODAY IS HISTORY” AT CATHERINE EDELMAN GALLERY

 

We are excited to present three photographers in Today is History, which examines the use of early photographic techniques among today’s practitioners. Work by Kate Breakey, Dan Estabrook and Jerry Spagnoli will be featured. The show opens November 4 and runs through December 31, 2016.

 

There will be an opening reception on Friday, November 4, from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

 

First it was questioned as art. Then painters used it as a tool. Decades later it was still defending itself as a viable art form. And now, more than 175 years after its inception, photography is an exalted medium, embraced by galleries, collectors and museums worldwide. While photographers engage with new technologies and new means of presentation, many artists working today still incorporate historical techniques in their work. Today is History brings together three artists who work with 19th / 20th c. processes to talk about present day concerns.

 

Kate Breakey (B. 1957 Adelaide, South Australia) is best known for her large-scale photographic work with birds and flowers that she painstakingly brings back to life with colored pencils. These pieces can be seen in two monographs, Small Deaths (2001) and Flowers/Birds (2003). In 2014, Breakey turned her focus to the land, and the small details of everyday life: a hummingbird resting on a tree limb, a wilting tulip, figs on a counter, the moon setting over the mountain, trees swaying in the evening dusk. Produced as Orotones (prints made on glass and backed with 23k gold leaf) Breakey creates small objects that command our attention, using an early technique to comment on the beauty, fragility and simplicity of her daily surroundings.

 

For more than 30 years, Dan Estabrook’s (b. 1969 Boston, MA) work has been at the intersection of yesterday and today. Working with salt prints, calotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes, Estabrook creates art that echoes his life, loves, desires and fears. Like many practitioners before him, he turns the camera on himself to make contemporary works inspired by the gap between today’s photographic perfection and the past’s technical limitations. As he states:  “Using 19th-century techniques and celebrating their flaws and failures, I make seemingly anonymous photographs in order to re-imagine a more personal and dream-like history of photography, seen from a 21st-century perspective. With these processes, I can create my own ‘found photos’ - highly personal objects in which to hide my own secrets and stories.”

 

Jerry Spagnoli (b. 1956 New York City, NY) is credited as today’s preeminent photographer working with the daguerreotype, a polished copper plate treated with mercury vapor. Using this material, Spagnoli has photographed significant historical events, including the horrors of the World Trade Center and the beauty of Times Square on the eve of the Millennium. In his 2012 series, Glasses, Spagnoli tackles the reflective quality of everyday water glasses. As he states, “Ultimately my use of various materials and methods is centered in my desire to make complicated stories out of the everyday world, which is my apparent subject matter. Photography allows me to engage viewers with images and ideas which are filtered through the abstracting apparatus of the camera and woven into the matrix of its rich history.”

Please call: (312) 266-2350 for prices of specific pieces.
Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated.

Install Image 1

Install Image 1, 2016
Install Image 2

Install Image 2, 2016
Video Link
Install Image 3

Install Image 3, 2016
Install Image 4

Install Image 4, 2016
Tree, South of France
Kate Breakey
Tree, South of France, 2014 - 2015
Chrysanthemum
Kate Breakey
Chrysanthemum, 2014 - 2015
Single Tree Kew Gardens, London
Kate Breakey
Single Tree Kew Gardens, London, 2014 - 2015
Big Cloud, Arizona
Kate Breakey
Big Cloud, Arizona, 2014 - 2015
Running Filly
Kate Breakey
Running Filly, 2014 - 2015
Five Figs
Kate Breakey
Five Figs, 2014 - 2015
Black Tulip
Kate Breakey
Black Tulip, 2014 - 2015
Five Birds in Tree
Kate Breakey
Five Birds in Tree, 2014 - 2015
Moonlit Water, Arno Bay
Kate Breakey
Moonlit Water, Arno Bay, 2014 - 2015
Dragonfly
Kate Breakey
Dragonfly, 2014 - 2015
Yellow Breasted Warbler
Kate Breakey
Yellow Breasted Warbler, 2014 - 2015
Rose
Kate Breakey
Rose, 2014 - 2015
Blue Morpho Butterfly
Kate Breakey
Blue Morpho Butterfly, 2014 - 2015
Seven Finches on Yukka
Kate Breakey
Seven Finches on Yukka, 2014 - 2105
Beach Willunga
Kate Breakey
Beach Willunga, 2014 - 2015
Pitcher with Oranges
Kate Breakey
Pitcher with Oranges, 2014 - 2015
Setting Moon
Kate Breakey
Setting Moon, 2014 - 2015
Vase with Chinaberries
Kate Breakey
Vase with Chinaberries, 2014 - 2015
Blue Jug
Kate Breakey
Blue Jug, 2014 - 2015
Pink Roses, Blue Vase
Kate Breakey
Pink Roses, Blue Vase, 2014 - 2015
Discarded Vices, no. 1
Dan Estabrook
Discarded Vices, no. 1, 2016
Study for The Moon
Dan Estabrook
Study for The Moon, 2015
Starry Night
Dan Estabrook
Starry Night, 2016
The Source
Dan Estabrook
The Source, 2016 - SOLD
Antimony
Dan Estabrook
Antimony, 2016
Beauty Mask
Dan Estabrook
Beauty Mask, 2016
Last Splash
Dan Estabrook
Last Splash, 2016 - SOLD
Out To Sea
Dan Estabrook
Out To Sea, 2016
Studio of a Young Man
Dan Estabrook
Studio of a Young Man, 2016
Wreath
Dan Estabrook
Wreath, 2016
Study for “The Mourners”
Dan Estabrook
Study for “The Mourners”, 2016
Glass 2-8-12
Jerry Spagnoli
Glass 2-8-12, 2012
Glass 3-7-12
Jerry Spagnoli
Glass 3-7-12, 2012
Glass 10-9-12
Jerry Spagnoli
Glass 10-9-12, 2012
Glass 10-13-12
Jerry Spagnoli
Glass 10-13-12, 2012
Glass 1-13-15
Jerry Spagnoli
Glass 1-13-15, 2015