April 14th – May 26th, 2012
Jenny Okun’s eighth solo exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery, “Dreamscapes”, will consist of a selection of recent work from her newly published book of the same name. For the past 20 years, Okun has been recognized for her multiple exposure photographic abstractions of architecture made with a medium format camera. With this process, the New York Times states, Okun reveals “the very soul of the buildings she photographs.” In recent years, her photography has shifted to layering her photographs digitally and creating more complex montages on a broader range of subjects.
Okun’s extensive travels provide continuing inspiration for her work. English garden mazes become even more twisted into strange Alice in Wonderland curiosities. The Art Nouveau/Spanish Gothic spires of Antonio Gaudi are montaged into a chimera of organic abstraction. In already extraordinary locations such as Talloires, France, Okun transforms mountain and sky into worlds of her own device, echoing the words of 15th century Venetian cartographer Fra Mauro, who said, “My map…was only one version of reality. It would only be of any use if it were employed as an instrument of the imagination. It occurred to me that the world itself should be seen as an elaborate artifice, and the expression of a will without end.”
Okun will be signing her new book, “Dreamscapes: the Photographic Art of Jenny Okun” published by Five Ties, at the opening reception.
Concurrently, Nancy Monk’s sixth solo show at Craig Krull Gallery, “Black Matter”, equally demonstrates the gallery’s interest in the transformative possibilities of photographic manipulations. The exhibition includes recent paintings on vintage stereoscopic cards, as well as complex, textured collages, and works on delicate paper. In “Fall Road,” the artist paints Aboriginal-like outlines and silhouettes over an image of the Niagara Falls so that the waterfall becomes a tree and boulders become a horse. In other, large-scale works on paper, Monk paints complex, patterned Seussian bouquets that are mesmeric arrangements of positive and negative space. Nancy Monk’s playfully inventive approach is characterized by an almost obsessive enchantment with ornamentation and design, as well as an imaginative freshness in the combination of materials.