O'Born Contemporary



Group Exhibition

September 25 – October 23, 2010


131 features works from Robert Canali, Liam Crockard, Alex Fischer, Rafael Goldchain, Kate McQuillen, John Monteith, Dominic Nahr, Ed Ou and Noel Rodo-Vankeulen.

131 brings together this diverse group of artists to inaugurate our new space, to introduce our new curatorial team and foremost, to announce our broadened approach to medium-specific programming.

O'Born Contemporary was established as a gallery, exhibiting contemporary photographic and lens-based works by living artists. This shall be maintained in our new space with the addition of works of all mediums, conceptually or practically linked to photography or its history.

The artists that represent us are photographers, journalists, documentarians, painters, sculptors, builders and thinkers; they do not necessarily commit themselves to a single mode of expression but all contribute to the ongoing dialogue of photography's place in contemporary art practices.

Documentary has long been a cornerstone in programming for photographic galleries. O'Born Contemporary is proud to be among those who prominently feature contemporary photojournalism and afford it the same standing as other genres of artistic expression. Ed Ou (Reportage by Getty Images) joins Dominic Nahr (Magnum Photos) as OBC gallery artists, enthusiastically contributing to recorded global history.

Rafael Goldchain also has a reputation as a photographer of historical events, both actual and imagined. For 131, we preview photographs from Goldchain's new body of work: Architectural and natural elements that function as metaphors for subjective experience. Goldchain embraces a new expressionism, looking inward for the essence of cracked and crumbling columns, suggesting a fragility and vulnerability through the weathering of their surfaces.

Noel Rodo-Vankeulen and Robert Canali contribute a modernist approach to photographic theory, exploring the medium's inherent self-reflexivity. This familiar investigation is made relevant again by the interarticle of and concurrent practices in digital and analog mediums.

Alex Fischer's work is fodder for discourse on digital image-making. His work is heavily layered, both theoretically and visually, challenging notions of appropriation and ownership. Through reference to work of practicing artists and subsequent abstraction thereof, Fischer creates a rich and elegant aestheticization of contemporary art history in social media.

The works of Kate McQuillen, Liam Crockard and John Monteith exemplify O'Born Contemporary's expansion of our medium-specific mandate. McQuillen's textured paintings of the moon could not have been conceived of without the photographs collected in the later Apollo landings. Crockard's Xerox transfers are elegantly unfinished, depending on lens-based reproductions and found images. The result is a refined imperfection. Materially, Monteith works at the interarticle of drawing, painting and photography. For 131, we exhibit portraits of novels that have influenced his practice. Employing strategies of repetition, layering, multiplication and perspectival shift essential to reproducible mediums, Monteith produces ephemeral images that waver on the intangible.

In our first two years, O'Born Contemporary has presented intelligent, clever and compelling exhibitions. We now move forward in our new space, with our new team, committed to maintaining the highest standards of exhibition and artist management. We welcome you to join us as we continue to inform, enlighten and intrigue.

A special thanks to P. Elaine Sharpe for her critical contribution to the foundation of O'Born Contemporary. None of this would be possible without you!

Exhibition Documentation Photography by Thomas Blanchard.