Prints of most of these images are available for purchase. Please inquire.All photographs are the copyright of the individual artists and may not be reproduced without their permission.
Juror: Kirsten HovingPrints due: December 19, 2019Exhibition: January 2 - January 25, 2020
Wow! What a difficult task it was to choose a small selection from the nearly 2,000 photographs submitted. All of the images were intriguing, and I could easily have included twice as many photographs in the exhibition. As I reviewed the images repeatedly, I found myself thinking about approaches to abstraction in photography seen in this work. Many photographers have turned to the natural or human-built world as a starting point, finding ways to make the familiar strange through unusual viewpoints, soft focus, exaggerated color, and careful consideration of light. I thought of these artists as abstraction “finders.” Others artists were abstraction “makers,” using post-processing to move far beyond what we might normally think of as a recorded image. Photographs ranged from ones that allowed the starting point—an object, a flower, the ocean—to remain clearly discernible, to images that departed entirely from the recognizable. I found myself drawn to ones that hovered between the real and the abstract, where I could guess at what I was looking at, but without being entirely sure.
While I considered the use of color and light, shape and space, texture and composition in all of the photographs, I was especially drawn to those that required a second look, ones that made me wonder how they were made or what, if anything, was being pictured. Juror's Award recipient Marcia Molnar’s eerie photograph of swirling lines and against an almost cosmic background caught my attention on my first pass through the photographs, and it held my attention as I winnowed the images down to the final selection. I loved the organic, sense of frozen, almost microscopic growth conveyed by the shapes in the foreground, offset by the deep, perhaps infinite, space of the background. Near and far working together in this image, in concert with line and shape, result in a photograph that I was pleased to honor with the first place award.
Director's Award recipient David Duplessie’s architectural abstraction also relies on the power of shape and space, but in a very different way. In place of organic, sinewy lines, there is hard-edged geometry, with edges, angles, and a grid of the building blocks, offset by the soft clouds above. The elegant simplicity of the subject, with its nod to the heritage of geometric abstraction in the history of modern art, kept me returning for yet another look.
Thanks to everyone who submitted work for this exhibition. And, congratulations to the photographers whose work was selected.
— Kirsten Hoving
Abstract images combine shapes, color, pattern, texture and imagination to create an image that is largely independent of visual reality. For this exhibition we seek abstract images made in whatever way you choose, both in and out of camera.Click to see images enlarged.
© Cary Loving
© Nick Winkworth
© Vicky Stromee
© Carol Lyon
We are very pleased that Kirsten Hoving will curate this exhibit. She will select up to 35 images for exhibition in the Middlebury, Vermont gallery, and another 35 images for the Online gallery. All 70 images will appear in the exhibit catalog.
Information about our printing service and free matting and framing here.
Known for imaginative photographs that challenge the boundaries of the photographic medium, Kirsten Hoving’s work has been displayed in solo and group exhibitions around the world. Having taught art history at Middlebury College for over thirty-five years, she has also curated multiple exhibitions at the College museum and other venues. In addition to her individual photographic practice, between 2014 and 2017 she has collaborated with her daughter, photographer Emma Powell, on the highly acclaimed photographic fairy tale, “Svala’s Saga.”
Kirsten Hoving's website.