Raïssa VenablesRaissa Venables
Exhibitions 2007

Raïssa Venables

Venables, Red Stairs, 2005 (60 x 84 inches)


Photographic Work - Done Between 2001 and 2007

October 13th - December 30th 2007

The Berliner Newspaper describes the exhibition as being "like a bizarre, slightly scary movie full of mazes."

Terrifying staircases and bizarre rooms with overwhelming colors seem at first glance to be film stills.  It is the impressive work of the New York photographer Raissa Venables.

A first impression leads the viewer to believe that the work is a continuation of the American painting tradition along the lines of David Hockney or Edward Hopper, or is done in the cubist manner of reflecting many views in one scene.  However, a closer inspection reveals that Venables' work is a sophisticated photographic project:  everyday places and their formative influence on the people who use them inspire the young photographer.  Venables, for example, photographs a staircase from all possible angles.  She then puts the photos together into a single tapestry image and edits it into a new, large-format photograph on the computer.  The result is a photographic "portrait" of a space, the "story of the place."  This kind of reality is the sum of the viewer's many perspectives.  Photography, for the artist, is always a profound emotional engagement with the surrounding environment.

"With Raissa Venables, we present the work of an artist who explores the technical possibilities of digital photography.  She composes multi-perspectival spaces from a series of individual views, and the transitions are so smooth and seamless that the resulting interiors seem plausible and logical to the viewer.  Venables knows the emotional and physical effects of color and sets them in a specific fashion in order to create one constructed perspective.  Warm colors urge objects forward, while cool colors push others into the background.  Through Venables' use of this phenomenon, in conjunction with converging lines and oblique perspectives, the image becomes a deceptive game that plays with the viewer's perception."

This exhibition was developed in cooperation with Kunstvereins Ulm, Ludwigshafen, and Oldenburg, and the Städtische Galerie Waldkraiburg carries a book catalog published by Hatje Cantz (Hard Cover, 96 pages with 30 illustrations).  Realized thanks to the contributions of Galerie Herrmann & Wagner, Berlin.

(Translation: Taylor Champoux, Markus Pfeifer)

Photos:  Helmut Claus

Sponsored by the State of Lower Saxony and the city of Neuenhaus.