"There is no closed figure in nature. Every shape participates with another. No one thing is independent of another, and one thing rhymes with another, and light gives them shape." - Henri Cartier-Bresson
This quote by Bresson has always struck me as one of the most poignant descriptions of fine photography, and even more so – by a photographer who ultimately understood the elements of what makes a successful photographic composition.
I have always used photography as tool to express metaphor and I personally love seeing juxtaposition, shape, and form mesh with poetic narratives in photography. I enjoyed looking through all the work that was submitted to this exhibition and narrowing it down to 75 photographs was no easy task. But when discerning which images would ultimately land into the gallery exhibition and then into the online exhibition as well, the common thread was looking for that poetic metaphor that I think photography is so keen on exposing. The work that is in the gallery exhibition had these eloquent qualities, and also included what I considered the ability to exhibit beautiful tonal ranges that would lend themselves to a fine photographic print, ready for exhibition. The breadth of work in this exhibition that fulfilled these qualities range from the spectrum of a visual narrative, to the simple contemplative beauty of quiet Zen landscapes and still life, to portraits that tell a story deep within the eyes of the subject.
The Juror’s Award and the Director’s award were both selected for their unique approach to the medium of photography – both playing on uses of photographic film - The Juror’s Award playing with how the use of film can be used sculpturally to portray a three dimensional quality; and the Director’s Award playing with the concept of multi-layered double exposures in a landscape photograph. I loved how both of these photographs have poetic resonance while also utilizing the poetry of photography as well as interesting composition.
When jurying and curating exhibitions, sometimes the final selections that culminate into an exhibition wind up taking a life of their own and telling one long story. Because of this, certain images get excluded not because they are not worthy, but because they do not complete the whole picture that the exhibition will tell.
Kudos to all who entered, and thank you for allowing me into your artistic perspectives.
- Jennifer Schlesinger
About the Juror
Jennifer Schlesinger is an artist, curator, gallerist, and educator based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She was the Director of VERVE Gallery of Photography from 2005-2017, and is now the owner and Director at Obscura Gallery in Santa Fe. Schlesinger has taught at the College of Santa Fe and continues to teach workshops at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Art Intersection, and other venues.
Schlesinger approaches her fine art photography with an interest in the historical development of photography as an artistic medium - incorporating influences from the age-old camera obscura, to 19th century albumen process, to 20th century gelatin silver printing. She is interested in how the evolution of photography can expand upon the development of photography as an art form. Her artistic media of choice are the 19th century albumen process and gelatin silver printing processes, while both her subject matter and content focus on the landscape and how humans philosophically interact with the natural world. She uses photography as a tool to capture the world around her both poetically and metaphorically, and is highly influenced by the investigation of life through philosophy.
Jennifer has exhibited widely at Southwest regional institutions, as well as national institutions such as the Southeast Museum of Photography and the Chelsea Art Museum. Her work has been published online and in print in international publications such as Black and White Magazine (U.S and UK), the cover article for Diffusion Magazine Volume III, and Fotoritim in Turkey. Schlesinger is represented in many public collections, including the Southeast Museum of Photography, Florida; The New Mexico Museum of Art, and the New Mexico History Museum / Palace of the Governors Photo Archives.
Learn more about Jennifer Schlesinger's work here.
Call for Entries
For this exhibition we are looking for black and white work that tells a story, recites a poem, or simply gives beauty to the viewer, without significant use of the color spectrum. All photo-based capture methods and processes are welcome.
We are honored indeed that Jennifer Schlesinger will be the juror for Black and White. She will select 35 images for exhibition in our Middlebury, Vermont gallery and another 40 for our Online Gallery. All 75 images will be reproduced in the exhibition catalog.
Recipients of the Juror’s Award and Director’s Award will each be entitled to a portfolio review by Jennifer Schlesinger.