Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present new camera-less photographs from San Francisco artist Klea McKenna. The exhibition marks the artist’s second solo show with the gallery.
Automatic Earth is an incisive and intuitive exploration of broken patterns within the landscape. Outdoor photograms of transient, orb spider webs converse with “photographic rubbings” of concentric tree rings and crumbling cement architecture. McKenna approaches these ruptures as allegories for human emotional experience.
Her method of photographic rubbings emanates from years of making nighttime photograms on-location. An impression of an outdoor surface is first hand-embossed onto light-sensitive paper during the dark of night. Then it is exposed by flashlights to fix the inscribed textures. The immediacy between paper and subject generates a dimensional relief—an imprint of place, experience and the labor that made it.
In some instances, multiple impressions are collaged together to yield fictional forms and large-scale installations. By detaching from the conventions and limitations of a traditional camera and negative, McKenna’s innovative methods challenge analog materials to amplify what is felt rather than record what is seen.
“Melancholy pervades Klea McKenna’s exquisite photographic rubbings of tree rings made on gelatin silver paper. These unique prints are visual evidence made possible by touch, brilliantly confounding photography’s usual privileging of sight. The rings seem to rise up from the paper, but so too do marks made by the chainsaws that felled the trees… The physical, contemplative process invokes grave rubbings; McKenna’s images are a kind of memorial to the passage of these great trees and to time itself.”
—Kim Beil, ARTFORUM
McKenna was born in Freestone, CA in 1980 and received a BA from the University of California in Santa Cruz and an MFA from the California College of the Arts. Recent exhibitions include: Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA; Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA. Public collections include: Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Mead Art Museum, Amherst, MA; and the US Embassy, Republic of Suriname, Art in Embassies, US Department of State. McKenna lives and works in San Francisco.
Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present paintings and works on paper by Los Angeles artist Steven Steinman. The exhibition marks the artist’s first with the gallery.
Steven Steinman's seemingly monochromatic paintings ripple with texture and undulating patterns informed by nature and expressed by hand. A sculpted underpainting provides an all-over topographical blueprint onto which subsequent layers of oilsticks in a range of colors spotlight subtle but highly-nuanced surfaces.
The drawings are first rhythmically marked and scratched with hand tools. Layers of powdered pigments then further propel and reveal the altered structure of the paper. Collectively, the work engages light and shadow to open up the picture plane and invite new ways of seeing. His paintings and drawings are emotional landscapes explored in a vibrantly radiating palette.
“…Steinman bases much of his esthetic on the properties of his materials: on the wetness and dryness of paint, watercolor or ink; on the resistance of canvas and paper as the medium is put down; on the kind of brush or pen used; on the speed and force of the application, and so forth… Steven’s work hovers somewhere between the material, the minimal, the monochrome, and the sublime. It’s the kind of art that takes time to take in.”
—Lilly Wei, Art in America
Steinman was born in Los Angeles, CA, in 1951. He received a BFA from California State University, Northridge. He has exhibited in the U.S. and Europe since the 1980s and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria; Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.