Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jack Spencer at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Nashville's Frist Center for the Visual Arts, at 919 Broadway, in downtown Nashville, is having a major show of the work of Nashville-based photographer Jack Spencer, opening this Friday, July 12th, and up through October 13th, 2013.

The show is entitled Jack Spencer: Beyond the Surface, and features a generous selection of Spencer's neo-romantic images. Spencer's subjects are often spare, although they are elegantly situated in the frame.

What makes Spencer's work arresting is the way in which he intercedes, between the surface of the image and the subject of the image, with light and texture and tone, to reinterpret the subject for us.

Here is how the Frist Center describes Spencer's work:

"For more than twenty years, Nashville, Tennessee, photographer Jack Spencer has created a world of shadow and light, theme and variation, beauty and intrigue.

"His use of rich, subtle tones, evocative lighting, and otherworldly colors takes us beyond photography as a subjective mirror or window, in which meaning derives from the interplay between the artist’s viewpoint and the tangible surface of the subject.

"In his approach to photography, Spencer emphasizes invention over documentation. The medium’s ambiguous relationship between fact and fiction is well suited for the exploration of his own unconscious terrain.

"Many photographers seek to unveil their subjects, to suggest truth behind the visual fact.

"Spencer’s approach is to veil the observed surface of reality with beauty, mystery, and a keen awareness of photography’s capacity to confound our sense of time.

There is strong work here. If you cannot make it to Nashville for the show, the Vanderbilt University Press is publishing a catalog, on which more here.

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