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Painters & Photographers

September 14, 2017 –
November 11, 2017

Anne Vieux's installation for "Painters & Photographers," 2017.

Painters & Photographers

September 14, 2017–
November 11, 2017

Reilly Gallery, Smith Center for the Arts

Exhibition Opening Details

Conjunctive Program:
Mini-Symposium with short reception to follow.
Thursday, October 26, 7–9pm

About the Exhibition

Painters & Photographers presents painterly themes and techniques in recent abstract photography. On view in PCG’s Reilly Gallery, this group exhibition consists of illusionistic compositions— rendered somewhere between meticulous staging techniques, analog processes and digital alterations—manipulate perceptions of space and reality to create photographs that appear as abstract paintings.

Like much of contemporary abstract painting, the formal explorations of artists in Painters & Photographers focus on color, shape and pattern. Architect and artist Erin O’Keefe’s photographs show three-dimensional, light-filled still-lifes of colorfully painted elements that simultaneously evoke the angular abstraction of Laszlo Maholy Nagy and the shadow-distorting views of film noir. Liz Nielsen’s compositions happen directly on the photo enlarger—she moves papers, filters and fibers around to compose complexly layered photograms of what looks to be something between geometric abstraction and simply painted landscapes. Similarly, Jessica Labatte sets up elaborate arrangements of colored paper, but in the process of photographing she makes visible what is barely there between the lens and the subject, such as tiny debris and dust particles that give the illusion of painted brush strokes. Ronnie Wright’s printed works on paper start out appropriating images of historic books, most telling of Black American experience. Through digital distribution and printing methods the image files are eventually corrupted, creating an apt metaphor for the marginalized histories of art and culture with expressionistic explosions of color across the frame.

Finally, in a mini-solo show installed in the midst of the group exhibition, Anne Vieux uses digitally manipulated images of holographic and translucent paper under light layers of airbrushed acrylic paint to craft her largest, most illusionistic installation to date: a printed carpet, custom-designed bench wrapped in printed fabric and floor-to-ceiling photomural. Like a kind of self-contained viewing station, Vieux stages each component to envelope the viewer into a luminescent painting of tonal hues.

Painters & Photographers is organized by Jamilee Lacy, PCG Director and Curator.

About the Artist

Jessica Labatte (b. 1981) lives in Chicago. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL; Elmhurst Art Museum; Hyde Park Art Center; Higher Pictures, NYC; Golden Gallery, and Horton Gallery, NYC. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker,, and Chicago Magazine. Labatte received a MFA and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is represented by Western Exhibitions, Chicago.

Liz Nielsen (b. 1975) lives in Brooklyn. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Budapest and Berlin and discussed in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and ArtSlant. She received a MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BA in Philosophy and Spanish from Seattle University. She currently works with Danziger Gallery in New York, SOCO Gallery in North Carolina, and NextLevel Galerie in Paris, France.

Erin O’Keefe (b. 1962) lives in New York City. O’Keefe’s most recent solo exhibition was at Denny Gallery. Other recent exhibitions include Gallery Jones in Vancouver, Inside Out Upside Down at The Photographer’s Gallery in London, (Not So) Still Life at Wave Hill in Bronx and Big Nothing in Sous Les Etoiles Gallery in New York. Her work has been discussed in Artforum, The New Yorker, Collector Daily, Huffington Post, Musée Magazine and Paper Journal. She received a MA in Architecture from Columbia University and BFA from Cornell University. She is represented by Denny Gallery, NYC.

Anne Vieux (b. 1985) lives in New York. Vieux’s work has been exhibited in solo shows at Annka Kultys Gallery (London, UK), Good Weather Gallery (Little Rock, AR), and Stream Gallery (New York, NY). She has been exhibited in group shows at The Newcomb Art Museum (New Orleans, LA), The Hole (New York, NY), Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan, CT), Regina Rex (New York, NY), Brooklyn Academy of Music (New York, NY), and Cranbrook Museum of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI). Her printed work has been included in the library collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. She received a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and BFA in Painting and Art History at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Ronnie E Wright II (b. 1972) lives in Tokyo. He received a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from Montserrat College of Art.


Exhibition support is generously provided by the Art & Art History Department at Providence College.